Other Policy Briefs


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 93
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    Addressing the Challenges of Sustainable Electrification in Africa through Comprehensive Impact Evaluations
    (2021-09) Muchapondwa, Edwin; Jeuland, Marc; Shimeles, Abebe
    Access to electricity leads to overall economic growth through improved agricultural and firm productivity, public service delivery, and enhanced household investment in human capital, net income, and general quality of life. Yet more than 540 million people in Africa still lack electricity today, and many more suffer from unreliable power supply. The considerable untapped renewable energy potential, and the associated rapid reductions in cost, make sustainable and decentralized electricity service a promising option for the continent, for transforming these deficits into opportunities. However, knowledge on how to finance and implement new models of electrification remains limited, because the results from prior impact evaluations are inconclusive and do not cover all relevant interventions or dimensions. Following a review of policy and research issues, we propose that five essential principles should guide future research efforts in this domain: (i) use of mixed/multi methods that adequately cover the varied implications of electricity access, (ii) choice of econometric methods that provide more credible estimates of impacts, (iii) use and combinations of more informative treatment data, (iv) careful theorizing and consideration of the potential for heterogeneous treatment effects, and (v) accounting for effects from treatments of different magnitudes. We demonstrate the last three of these with an illustrative application of the World Bank Multi-Tier Framework data for Kenya. New insights emerge as research moves from a focus on average treatment effects to heterogeneous and multi-valued treatment effects. Notably, the impacts of electrification may depend on the extent to which households and other economic agents can make complementary investments to benefit from an electricity connection. Thus, electrification may need to be combined with complementary programmes, for example, those that make appliances more accessible and affordable. A greater focus on holistic impact evaluation approaches is needed to make economic research on sustainable electrification more informative and policy-relevant.
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    Strategic Environmental Commitment and Climate Change in Africa: Evidence on Mining and Deforestation
    (2021-09) Azomahou, Théophile T.; Ouédraogo, Mahamady
    This paper addresses two issues on the link between mining, deforestation and environmental policy in Africa using a panel data of 35 African countries spanning over 2001-2017. First, we study the relationship between mining and deforestation. Our findings suggest that mining increases deforestation while environmental policy contributes to reduce deforestation in mineral resource-rich countries. An increase in mineral rent by a one-point percentage of GDP leads to forest loss of about 50 km2 . Moreover, regional economic community has heterogeneous effects on deforestation consistent with the coordination policies. Second, we test the implication of these results for uncoordinated environmental policies using two measures: a de jure and a de facto environmental policy. Our results support that countries adopt a strategic behavior in response to the environmental policy of their neighbors. A 1% increase in neighbors’ environmental commitment increases one’s own environmental commitment by 0.3% and 0.8% for de jure and de facto respectively. We document that this strategic behavior leads to a race to the top for de jure environmental policy and a race to the bottom de facto environmental policy. As African countries increasingly engage in de jure environmental enforcement, their de facto efforts to mitigate climate change are slackening.
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    Targeting Industries to Drive Youth Employment
    (2022-02) Al-Ayouty, Iman