Philippe Alby, Jean-Jacques Dethier, and Stéphane Straub, Firms Operating under Electricity Constraints in Developing Countries?, The World Bank Economic Review, vol. 27, n. 1, 2013, pp. 109–132.


Many developing countries are unable to provide their industrial sectors with reliable electric power, with the result that many enterprises must contend with an insufficient and unreliable supply of electricity. Because of these constraints, enterprises often opt for self-generation of electricity even though it is widely considered a second-best solution. This paper develops a theoretical model of investment behavior in remedial infrastructure in the presence of physical constraints. It then illustrates the model's predictions using a large cross-country sample of enterprises from the World Bank Enterprise Survey database. Electricity-intensive sectors in high-outage countries are characterized by a significantly lower share of small firms.


Infrastructure; Electricity; Industrial structure

JEL codes

  • H54: Infrastructures • Other Public Investment and Capital Stock
  • L94: Electric Utilities
  • L16: Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics: Industrial Structure and Structural Change • Industrial Price Indices