The Impact of Electricity Outages on health outcomes of children in Kyrgyzstan
|Author(s):|| Yermone Sargsyan MSc., |
|Type:||Article in collection|
|ISSN / ISBN:|
|Published in:||The 1st IAEE Online International Conference 2021: Energy, Covid and Climate Change. International Association for Energy Economics.|
|Publishing place:||The 1st IAEE Online International Conference 2021: Energy, Covid and Climate Change.|
|Keywords:||electricity disruptions, child-health, transition economies|
|JEL codes:||P18, O13, O15, I15|
|Grants:||GAUK 327421 Residential Energy Demand, Adoption of Energy Efficient Technologies, and Electricity Disruptions in Transition Economies|
|Abstract:||As electricity prices in developing countries are relatively low to recover the costs of provision, proper investment in
infrastructure for generation and distribution of electricity is usually absent. These results in frequent outages or
rolling blackouts by the electricity suppliers aimed to manage the difference in supply and demand. Such outages
commonly occur in some developing countries and can have a significant impact on certain households.
The frequent electricity outages may create sizeable problems for the households in terms of storing food, and
cooling their households as the work of refrigerators and AC’s is constantly interrupted, especially in countries like
Kyrgyzstan where extremely hot summers are rather a rule than exception. Besides hot summers Kyrgyzstan also
faces cold winters, when the temperature can get as low as negative 25 degrees Celsius . In the absence of reliable
electricity supply households often use coal or would to heat their homes. According to Akhmetov (2014), most of
the residents in these regions who do not have access to the centralized infrastructure burn coal in self-made coal
stoves to heat their homes. According to the author this self-made stoves are usually of a poor quality resulting in
indoor air pollution, which in turn is a catalyst of various respiratory diseases.
All of the above indicates that electricity disruptions may affect the health status of the households negatively,
especially among children and elderly. While having any access to the objective measurement of elderly health
status maybe problematic, we have readily available objective measurement for health of children aged from 0 to 5
years provided by their anthropometric outcomes like weight for height, weight for age, height for age.
Anthropometric outcomes of children are calculated with accordance to WHO in form of deviations (z-score) from
the given reference groups. Moreover, micro panel data from Kyrgyzstan allows us to control for rich socio-
economic (including information on main heating source, and home appliances) and geographical characteristics of
the households to ensure stronger validity of our findings.
The association between access to electricity and socio-economic attributes of household- like income, education
and health, is well documented in the literature. However, none of the authors studied the effect of electricity
outages (as opposed to just access to it). Usually, studies employ binary variable which indicates access to the
electricity grid, while in our research we will investigate the effect of frequency of outages instead, which to the best
of our knowledge has not been studied yet.
We find a negative and statistically significant association between height for age z-score of children, and reported
frequency of electricity outages. We also observe generally negative relationship between outages and weight for
age z-score. However, this relationship is statistically insignificant