The authors review existing evidence on the causes and consequences of electricity outages on economic
development, focusing on the urban setting. Studies on the microeconomics of electrification
concentrate primarily on the impacts of expanding access to electricity in rural areas. In cities, the
main issue is the reliability of the electric grid rather than the lack of access to electricity. They
discuss supply side, demand side, and political economy factors causing outages, the economic
impacts of outages, and how energy suppliers respond to the prospect of electricity shortages. The authors
conclude by highlighting 4 areas for further research.
This research was supported by the UK Department for International Development’s Energy and Economic Growth Applied Research Programme.
Gertler, P.J., Lee K., Mushfiq-Mobarak, A (2017) Electricity Reliability and Economic Development in Cities: A Microeconomic Perspective, EEG State-of-Knowledge Paper Series , Oxford Policy Management, Center for Effective Global Action, Energy Institute @ Haas