Electricity availability: A precondition for faster economic growth?

Rohan Best*, Paul J. Burke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate if greater electricity availability helps countries ascend to faster economic growth trajectories. This is an important question for many developing countries that are currently prioritizing infrastructure investments. Using cross-sectional and panel regressions with national-level decadal data, we find some evidence that electricity availability has a significant effect on subsequent economic growth. However, much of the effect disappears once suitable controls are included. We examine various dimensions of electricity availability, including electricity consumption quantity, generation capacity, residential access rate, and quality of electricity supply. It appears that electricity availability is best viewed as something that can be scaled up as economies grow rather than something that imposes binding constraints on subsequent economic growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-329
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy Economics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Development economics
  • Economic growth
  • Electricity availability
  • Electricity consumption

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