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date: 17 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the electrification experience in the United States from 1880 to 1960, noting electricity’s effects on manufacturing and agricultural productivity, changes in the demand for worker skills, and changes in household structure. The chapter also discusses how the rise of a new industry led to new regulations and addressed discrepancies in service between urban and rural areas and presents evidence on the current state of research into the effects of these institutional changes on electricity pricing and economic growth. This historical literature can inform the current debate on the impact of large infrastructure projects in developing countries, and of electrification in particular. With over half of the world’s population still yet to acquire consistent access to electricity, these issues remain pertinent to the current policy sphere.

Keywords: electrification, regulation, rural development, electricity, infrastructure

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