We are proud to announce that we have been awarded two new research grants on the project “Electricity Reliability and Small Business Performance: Evidence from Pakistan “. The first is an explorative research grant by Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL), a joint research initiative of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and the Department For International Development (DFID). The second is from the International Growth Centre (IGC).

We propose to leverage an existing relationship with a large private utility in Pakistan, K-Electric, a wealth of administrative data, and a large survey to rigorously evaluate the effects of energy quality on small business outcomes.

Even if self-employment, household enterprises and micro-business activities represent a major source of employment in developing countries, they are subject to several constraints, which prevent them from growing and increasing productivity. In particular the the role of electricity reliability appears as a major constraint to small and micro-business growth in Pakistan, with some forms of recurrent electrical outage, leading to about 34% average losses in annual sales.

Our research team (myself, Giovanna d’Adda, Farah Said and Massimo Tavoni) aims at rigorously assessing the impact of electricity reliability on small business outcomes in an urban context.

If you want to know more about the methodology we are using or about preliminary results, just drop me a line here!