Electrification to Grow Manufacturing? Evidence from Nepal


Almost half of firms in South Asia identify electricity as a major constraint to operations. We investigate whether electrification in Nepal – via microhydro mini-grids – helped grow the manufacturing sector. Electrification led to a substantial and statistically significant increase in formal manufacturing establishments; yet the overall presence remains limited due to low baseline numbers. Labor shifts from self-employment and agriculture to employment for salary and wages. Increases in informal, non-agricultural household enterprises also contribute to labor changes. In more remote locations – farther from the historical electrical grid – the impacts of microhydro on manufacturing establishments are significantly muted.

Under Review
Gary Ziwen Zu
Gary Ziwen Zu
Ph.D. student

My research interests lie at the intersection of authoritarian politics, public policy and redistributive politics.