Energy Justice and Economic Growth: Does Democracy Matter?

Eric Evans Osei Opoku, Alex O Acheampong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Can economies sustain economic growth within an energy justice and democratization framework? In the literature, the role of equity in energy access and the conditional effect of democracy on economic growth in developing countries is not empirically explored. Drawing on the theory of Distributive Justice and Capability Approach to Development, we contribute to the knowledge and policy discussions by examining whether energy justice and democracy synergistically affect economic growth in a panel of 47 sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries from 2000-2020 using Driscol-Kraay and a two-step generalized method of moment estimators. We operationalized and measured energy justice using rural-urban equality in access to electricity and clean cooking fuels and technologies while participatory, deliberative, egalitarian, liberal, and electoral democracy indices were used to capture the different forms of democracy. The findings suggest energy justice and democracy variables significantly improve economic growth in SSA. We also found evidence from the conditional effect analysis that when there is an improvement in democratic practices in SSA, the economic growth-enhancing effect of energy justice deepens. These findings are robust after controlling endogeneity and differ among the sub-regions within SSA. We recommend that policies that facilitate equity in energy access and democratic practices would contribute to sustainable economic growth in SSA.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Policy Modeling
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jan 2023

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