Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/214184
Authors: 
Bensch, Gunther
Gotz, Gunnar
Peters, Jörg
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
Ruhr Economic Papers 840
Abstract: 
This paper replicates and extends the seminal paper by Dinkelman (2011) on the impacts of electrification on female employment. We revisit the validity of the identification strategy that uses the land gradient as an instrumental variable (IV). Our robustness checks cast doubt on the exclusion restriction as the IV drives the outcome variable in non-electrified regions. We also demonstrate that it is more difficult to disentangle the effects of electricity and road infrastructure than the original paper claims, because the IV affects both. We additionally highlight that the IV is weak, consequently preventing interpretation of the point estimates that are used throughout the original paper. The concomitance of a questionable exclusion restriction and a weak IV is particularly problematic. We conclude by arguing that the takeaways of the original paper for policy and the academic literature need to be reconsidered. In general terms, our comment shows the difficulties of using geographical variation as a natural experiment for infrastructure evaluation.
Subjects: 
replication
research transparency
energy access
infrastructure
instrumental variables
JEL: 
O13
C52
H43
O18
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
ISBN: 
978-3-86788-973-5
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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