Access to electricity is an important ingredient of economic development. Though developing countries have expanded access to electricity over the past fifty years, electricity provision is often unreliable, particularly for rural communities. In order for local microgrids to function, households in local communities must avoid free-riding behavior. This exploratory project studies the determinants of effective institutions at a local level, as reflected by providing reliable electricity. It aims to develop a randomized control trial that specifically studies how providing information about electricity usage and introducing prepaid metering affect or promote households’ cooperative behavior. The project also seeks to study how local management committees are selected or elected, and whether this impacts their effectiveness. The study is in the exploratory stage and PIs are working on creating partnerships with local NGOs. Results forthcoming.
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