The effects of rural electrification on employment: New evidence from South Africa

This paper estimates the impact of electri cation on employment growth by analyzing South Africa’s mass roll-out of electricity to rural households. Using several new data sources and two di erent identi cation strategies (an instrumental variables strategy and a fi xed e ffects approach), I f nd that electri cation signi cantly raises female employment within 5 years. This new infrastructure appears to increase hours of work for men and women, while reducing female wages and
increasing male earnings. Several pieces of evidence suggest that household electri cation raises employment by releasing women from home production and enabling micro-enterprizes. Migration behavior may also be af ected.