Working Paper

Secondary School Electrification in Western Kenya

Date Published

Jun 29, 2018


Susanna Berkouwer, Kenneth Lee, Michael Walker



Berkouwer, Susanna, Kenneth Lee, and Michael Walker. 2018. Secondary School Electrification in Western Kenya. AidData Working Paper #57. Williamsburg, VA: AidData at William & Mary.


We estimate the impact of the rollout of a Kenyan program that connected the vast majority of Kenyan secondary schools to the electricity grid on the number of students taking a secondary completion exam and their exam performance. Using administrative data from western Kenya and a differences-in-differences approach, and controlling for school and time fixed effects, we find no significant impact on either the number of students taking the exams, or on exam scores. We explore secondary school energy usage via an original school survey and find that electricity access is still unreliable for many schools, with over half of schools reporting a blackout in the last three days.

Funding: This research was supported by AidData at the College of William and Mary and the USAID Global Development Lab through cooperative agreement AID-OAA-A-12-00096. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of AidData, USAID, or the United States Government.

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Kenneth Lee

Kenneth Lee

Executive Director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago in India (EPIC-India)

Michael Walker

Michael Walker

PhD candidate in Economics at the University of California, Berkeley

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