Subsidies, credit constraints and demand for productivity-enhancing technologies
A large share of the world’s poor does not have access to electricity. Without electrification, many smallholder farmers have few options outside primary agricultural production, keeping rural communities stuck at low levels of development. Universal access to electricity could spark sustained economic growth in developing countries, through time saving technologies and by opening up new markets. However, the development success of electrification critically depends on whether households are able to put increased energy access to productive use. Many people remain credit constrained and have limited access to markets.
In this study we use a sample of households that were recently connected to electricity in rural Sierra Leone, a low income country, to learn about the productive complementarities in energy access.