Edward Miguel delivers 41st BSE Lecture


Edward Miguel (University of California, Berkeley) discussed "Does Electrification Help the Poor?" on October 4, 2019.

The lecture was introduced by Sofía Rodríguez, Head of Banc Sabadell's Macroeconomics and Financial Stability Division, and Gianmarco León, BSE Affiliated Professor. The lecture took place at UPF Barcelona School of Management because it followed the annual BSE Economics "Trobada" at the same venue.

Null results are important results

In his lecture, Prof. Miguel shared a study he conducted on the impact of electrification of homes in 150 communities in rural Kenya. He and his research team found that bringing access to electricity into these homes had no discernible impact on economic dimensions such as income, hours worked, or asset ownership; nor did it result in social benefits such as improved school performance for children.

"This one was particularly disappointing for all of us as educators and as scholars," Prof. Miguel said, "but this is a very important result. It's very important as researchers to publish null results. There's literally billions of dollars going into [the electrification of homes] right now all over sub-Saharan Africa. If there's anything that data like this can do to help people form policy that's more evidence-based or to rethink policy, that would be valuable."

Watch the full BSE Lecture by Edward Miguel

About BSE Lectures

Organized with support from Banc Sabadell, the BSE Lecture Series has brought dozens of the world's top Economics scholars to Barcelona every year since 2003 to share their research on a range of topics on specialized theory and practice. Speakers come from prestigious universities, central banks, and international organizations.

Recent BSE Lectures

Philippe Aghion (College de France and LSE): "Rethinking Growth: The Schumpeterian Perspective"