Bring Back our Light: Power Outages and Industrial Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa

Power cuts have become a characteristic feature of many Sub-Saharan African economies. This paper attempts to estimate the firm level impact of power out- ages using panel data on firms from 15 Sub-Saharan African countries. Further, I evaluate the impact of electricity self-generation in ameliorating the effects of power outages on firm performance using a quasi-experimental approach. Results from the analysis reveal significant negative effects of electricity short- ages on firm productivity, size and labor employment. Finally, contrary to the notion that self-generation may be helpful for firms during outage periods, evidence from this paper suggest that reliance on self-generation is associated with productivity losses albeit short run revenue gains.

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JEL Codes:
D04; D24; L11; L94; O12; O13; Q41

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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