Centro de Pesquisas sobre Governação e Desenvolvimento | Centre for Research on Governance and Development

Electricity Provision and Elections in Mozambique

Working Papers
Carlos Shenga

The distributive politics and distributive goods literature point out that provision of public goods affect elections. By employing nightlight electricity and election data this study tested and examined the effect of government provision of electricity to the public in relation to the 1999, 2004 and 2014 elections in Mozambique. Controlling for other aspects, it found that the provision of electricity appears to have no effect either on election competition or voter turnout, as the level of electricity within the country is very shallow and electricity tends to be equally distributed across electoral districts. It also found that electoral districts with high magnitude have more competitive elections but this does not affect voter turnout.  Furthermore the most recent elections appear to be associated with low voter turnout, suggesting that the way elections were conducted, in terms of registering voters and the voting itself, have not incentivized voters to vote.

Keywords: Elections, election competition, voter turnout, district magnitude, electoral district, distributive goods, distributive politics, electricity provision, Mozambique.