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Electricity Sector Reform in Developing Countries: A Survey of Empirical Evidence on Determinants and Performance

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Jamasb, Tooraj 
Mota, Raffaella L. 
Newbery, David 
Pollitt, Michael G. 


This paper reviews the empirical evidence on electricity reform in developing countries. We find that country institutions and sector governance play an important role in success and failure of reform; reforms appear to have increased operating efficiency and expanded access to urban customers; they have to a lesser degree passed on efficiency gains to customers, tackled distributional effects, or improved rural access. Moreover, some of the literature is not methodologically robust or on a par with general development economics literature and findings on some issues are limited and inconclusive while some important areas are yet to be addressed. Until we know more, implementation of reforms will be more based on ideology and economic theory rather than solid economic evidence.



Electricity, reform, developing countries

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Faculty of Economics

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The World Bank Electricity Research Programme and the CMI Electricity Project (IR-45)