Impact of Prepaid Smart Meters on Firms in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Senegal

The majority of firms in sub-Saharan Africa are small establishments with low productivity and a short lifespan. Electricity is often cited as a key limiting factor of firm productivity growth: access to electricity and reliability of electricity are major issues faced by firms in the region. To deal with revenue collection, electricity providers in low-income countries are increasingly adopting new metering technologies, such as prepaid meters and smart meters. This project will study the causal impacts of the adoption of new meter types on firm electricity consumption, costs and profits, both at the extensive margin of electricity access and at the intensive margin of electricity use. Combined with the existing evidence focused mostly on households, the treatment effects from this project will allow the researchers to get a better sense of the overall welfare impacts of electrification and new meter types, as well as their distributional impacts across firms of different characteristics.

RFP Cycle:
Fall 2022
  • Abdoulaye Cisse
  • Ethan Ligon
  • Pilot project