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In Light of Democracy and Corruption: Institutional Determinants of Electricity Provision

Long-lasting democratic institutions have been found to matter for the universal provision of reliable electricity. In this article we revisit this finding, suggesting that the effect of democracy on electricity provision is moderated by the quality of institutions shaping the implementation of public policies. We test the hypothesis positing the interaction effect between democracy and corruption using cross-national data on the share of population living in unlit areas. The results show that democracy is associated with a higher electrification rate only in low-corrupt contexts. When corruption is widespread, democratic experience is not correlated with higher rates of electrification. These findings suggest that the effect of democratic institutions is conditional on the quality of the institutions that shape policy implementation.

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Keywords: Democracy, Corruption, Electricity Provision, Political Institutions, Public administration

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.42.2.fbor

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Published in Volume 42, Number 2 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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