Impact of energy access on food security and child nutrition: panel data evidence from rural Ethiopia

EfD Discussion Paper
1 June 2022

Tagel Gebrehiwot, Sied Hassen


In this paper, we investigate the impact of electricity on household food consumption and the nutritional status of children under the age of five, with attention to female-headed households, and discuss possible channels of causation. Using three rounds of the World Bank’s Living Standard Measurement Survey and a Difference in Difference approach, we found that access to electricity increased households’ calorie consumption by 153 Kcal per day in 2013 and by 187 Kcal in 2016. Further, children in households with access to electricity are less stunted than children in households without access to electricity. The findings imply that the channel of causation may be related to the greater convenience of electricity as a cooking fuel compared to firewood or other biomass. In terms of policy, expansion of electricity, in addition to providing lighting and other end use services, has an impact in improving households’ calorie intake and reducing children’s stunted growth. Keywords: electricity, energy, nutrition, wasting, stunting 

Publication reference
EfD Discussion Paper 22-11
Publication | 23 June 2022