The Role of Infrastructure in Development

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The Role of Infrastructure in Development

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This dissertation consists of three essays that address the role of infrastructure in different sectors- education, manufacturing, and agriculture- in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the first essay, I estimate the impacts of access to electricity on student performance in the 9th and 12th grades examinations in Ghana. In Particular, I use nighttime satellite imagery to estimate the impact of luminosity on student performance. The results suggest luminosity matters the most when there is a considerable study time constraint. In the second essay, using the World Bank Enterprise Surveys, I investigate the link between access to infrastructure-electricity, transportations, and telecommunications- and the productivity of manufacturing firms and its role in firms’ location decision in 29 Sub-Saharan countries. These manufacturing firms are from seven different industries- Food, Textiles, Garment, Chemicals, Non-Metallic and Basic Metals, Fabricated Metals and Machinery, and Wood and Furniture. These relationships are less known in the context of Sub-Saharan African economies given the challenges for many countries in the region to build adequate infrastructure. The results shed lights on the importance of specific infrastructure in a particular industry. The last essay focused on the quality of trunk (major) roads and agricultural yield in Tanzania. Given the poor quality of roads in Sub-Saharan Africa, this essay tries to evaluate the impacts of recently rehabilitated trunk roads (2,500 Km) on agriculture yield in Tanzania- a country whose economy is largely based on agriculture led by small agricultural households.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation.October 2020. Major: Applied Economics. Advisors: Paull Glewwe, Marc Bellemare. 1 computer file (PDF); xi, 160 pages.

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Keita, Ibrahim. (2020). The Role of Infrastructure in Development. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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