Book

Escaping the Energy Poverty Trap: When and How Governments Power the Lives of the Poor

The first comprehensive political science account of energy poverty, arguing that governments can improve energy access for their citizens through appropriate policy design.

In today's industrialized world, almost everything we do consumes energy. While industrialized countries enjoy all the amenities of modern energy, more than a billion people in the developing world still lack energy access. Why is energy poverty persistent in some countries and not in others? Offering the first comprehensive political science account of energy poverty, Escaping the Energy Poverty Trap explores why governments have or have not been able to lead in providing modern energy to their least advantaged citizens.

Focusing on access to modern cooking fuels and household electrification, the authors develop a new political-economic theory that introduces government interest, institutional capacity, and local accountability as key determinants of energy access. They draw on case studies from India, East Asia, Africa, and Latin America to offer the optimistic conclusion that governments can improve institutional capacity and local accountability through appropriate policy design. Energy poverty is a policy problem, the authors assert, and engaging with it as such offers new opportunities not only for ensuring equal energy access, but also for political, economic, and environmental development.

Data

European Union Sectoral Emissions Data (EUSED)

EUSED provides CO2 emissions for 33 countries (EU ETS member countries plus Switzerland and Turkey), disaggregated into 7 sectors which are matched between UNFCCC sectors (CRF) and EU ETS activities, 1990-2016. The data is available from Harvard Dataverse or can be downloaded here. Please read the codebook before using the data.

Acknowledgment: I gratefully acknowledge funding by the British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grant (SG171349, 1 January 2018 to 30 May 2019). Constantin Brod offered excellent research assistance.

Publications

(2019). The Need for Impact Evaluation in Electricity Access Research. Energy Policy 137: 111099. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2019). Shades of Darkness or Light? A Systematic Review of Geographic Bias in Impact Evaluations of Electricity Access. Energy Research & Social Science 58: 101236. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2019). Many Voices in the Room: A National Survey Experiment on How Framing Changes Views Toward Fracking in the United States. Energy Research & Social Science 56: 101213. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2018). Economics of Household Technology Adoption in Developing Countries: Evidence from Solar Technology Adoption in Rural India. Energy Economics 72:35-46. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2017). Does Basic Energy Access Generate Socioeconomic Benefits? A Field Experiment with Off-grid Solar Power in India. Science Advances 3(5):e1602153. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2016). It Is All about Political Incentives: Democracy and the Renewable Feed-in Tariff. Journal of Politics 78(2):603-619. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2016). Explaining Differences in Sub-national Patterns of Clean Technology Transfer to China and India. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law, and Economics 16(2):261-283. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2015). The Political Economy of Energy Access: Survey Evidence from India on State Intervention and Public Opinion. Energy Research & Social Science 94:28-36. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2015). When International Organizations Bargain: Evidence from the Global Environment Facility. Journal of Conflict Resolution 59(6):1074-1100. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2015). Small and Beautiful? The Programme of Activities and the Least Developed Countries. Climate and Development 7(2):153-164. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2015). Quantifying Slum Electrification in India and Explaining Local Variation.. Energy 80:203-212. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2014). Choosing International Organizations: When Do States and the World Bank Collaborate on Environmental Projects?. Review of International Organizations 9(4):413-440. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2014). Laissez Faire and the Clean Development Mechanism: Determinants of Project Implementation in Indian states, 2003–2011. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy 16:1687-1701. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2014). Information and Energy Policy Preferences: A Survey Experiment on Public Opinion about Electricity Pricing Reform in Rural India. Economics of Governance 15(4):305-327. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2014). Does It Pay to Play? How Bargaining Shapes Donor Participation in the Funding of Environmental Protection. Strategic Behavior and the Environment 4(3):263-290. [PDF] [Proofs].

(2014). Who Blames Corruption for the Poor Enforcement of Environmental Laws? Survey Evidence from Brazil. Environmental Economics and Policy Studies 16(3):241-262. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2013). Leveraging Private Capital for Climate Mitigation: Evidence from the Clean Development Mechanism. Ecological Economics 96:14-24. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2013). Understanding Environmental Policy Preferences: New Evidence from Brazil. Ecological Economics 94:28-36. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2013). Global Patterns of Renewable Energy Innovation, 1990–2009. Energy for Sustainable Development 17(3):288-295. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2013). Who Uses the Clean Development Mechanism? An Empirical Analysis of Projects in Chinese Provinces. Global Environmental Change 23(2):512-521. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2013). External Sources of Clean Technology: Evidence from the Clean Development Mechanism. Review of International Organizations 8(1):81-109. [PDF] [Data and code].

(2013). Funding Global Public Goods: The Dark Side of Multilateralism. Review of Policy Research 30(2):160-189. [PDF].