Person:
Blimpo, Moussa

Office of the Regional Chief Economist, Africa, The World Bank
Loading...
Profile Picture
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Economics of Education, Public Economics, Energy Economics, Electricity Access, Human Capital
Degrees
External Links
Departments
Office of the Regional Chief Economist, Africa, The World Bank
Externally Hosted Work
Contact Information
Last updated: March 13, 2023
Biography
Moussa P. Blimpo is a Senior Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist for the Africa Region (AFRCE) of the World Bank. Prior to this, he was an assistant professor of economics and international studies at the University of Oklahoma. His research interests cover a range of policy-relevant questions concerning African economies. His recent research and publications address issues of electricity access in Sub-Saharan Africa, the role of disruptive technologies on the prospects of African economies to leapfrog and address key development challenges, and human capital acquisition in African countries. He holds a PhD in economics from New York University and spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR). He founded, and led between 2011 and 2015, the Center for Research and Opinion Polls (CROP), a think tank based in Togo.
Citations 19 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Publication
    Why Are Connection Charges So High?: An Analysis of the Electricity Sector in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-04) McRae, Shaun; Blimpo, Moussa; Steinbuks, Jevgenijs
    This study develops and structurally estimates a model of household and electric utility behavior to describe how the low access rates and high connection charges that are common in the Sub-Saharan Africa region arise from regulated electricity tariffs being set too low. As a result, the utilities lose money on each connected customer and low electricity consumption by households makes it difficult to recover the cost of providing a connection. For each possible choice of the regulated tariff, the optimal upfront connection charge is computed that will maximize profits for the utility in its service territory. Higher tariffs are associated with lower optimal connection charges and higher electrification rates. Nonetheless, due to households' low willingness to pay for electricity services, the equilibrium electrification rates in the model are much lower than 100 percent. Future advances in electrification will require higher incomes, increased coverage of the distribution network, and lower connection costs.
  • Publication
    Electricity Access in Sub-Saharan Africa: Uptake, Reliability, and Complementary Factors for Economic Impact
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2019-03-08) Blimpo, Moussa P.; Cosgrove-Davies, Malcolm
    Access to reliable electricity is a prerequisite for the economic transformation of economies in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), especially in a digital age. Yet the electricity access rate in the region is often substantially low, households and businesses with access often face unreliable service, and the cost of the service is often among the highest in the world. This situation imposes substantial constraints on economic activities, provision of public services, adoption of new technologies, and quality of life. Much of the focus on how to best provide reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity service to all has been on mitigating supply-side constraints. However, demand-side constraints may be as important, if not more important. On the supply side, inadequate investments in maintenance result in high technical losses; most state-owned utilities operate at a loss; and power trade, which could significantly lower the cost of electricity, is underdeveloped. On the demand side, the uptake and willingness to pay are often low in many communities, and the consumption levels of those who are connected are limited. Increased uptake and consumption of electricity will encourage investment to improve service reliability and close the access gap. Electricity Access in Sub-Saharan Africa shows that the fundamental problem is poverty and lack of economic opportunities rather than power. The solution lies in understanding that the overarching reasons for the unrealized potential involve tightly intertwined technical, financial, political, and geographic factors. The ultimate goal is to enable households and businesses to gain access to electricity and afford its use, and utilities to recover their cost and make profits. The report makes the case that policy makers need to adopt a more comprehensive and long-term approach to electrification in the region—one centered on the productive use of electricity at affordable rates. Such an approach includes increased public and private investment in infrastructure, expanded access to credit for new businesses, improved access to markets, and additional skills development to translate the potential of expanded and reliable electricity access into substantial economic impact. Enhancing the economic capabilities of communities is the best way to achieve faster and more sustainable development progress while addressing the broad challenges of affordability, low consumption, and financial viability of utilities, as well as ensuring equitable provision between urban and rural areas.
  • Publication
    Electricity Provision and Tax Mobilization in Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-04) Mensah, Justice Tei; Blimpo, Moussa; Opalo, K. Ochieng’; Shi, Ruifan
    This paper provides evidence on how the provision of social infrastructure, such as reliable electricity, can be leveraged to increase taxation in developing countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. First, using comprehensive data from the latest round of the Afrobarometer survey, the paper uses the instrumental variable approach to estimate the effect of access to and reliability of electricity on the tax compliance attitudes of citizens in 36 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The evidence shows a significant positive effect of electrification on tax compliance attitudes, with potentially strong externalities. The analysis also finds that the reliability of supply is crucial in explaining the impact of electricity access on attitudes toward taxes. Second, the paper provides suggestive evidence on national identity as one channel driving this impact. Access to social amenities such as electricity induces a sense of national identity among citizens, thereby incentivizing them to contribute, through taxes, toward the functioning of the state. Third, using data from the most recent World Bank Enterprise Surveys and under conservative assumptions, the paper estimates that countries in the region could in total generate additional tax revenues of more than $9.5 billion (4.3 percent of total tax revenue) per year solely by resolving issues related to electricity shortages. Put together, the paper concludes that the financial returns associated with public investments toward improving access to and reliability of electricity are substantial and could be harnessed to augment the financing gap in the sector.