Impact of rural-urban energy equality on environmental sustainability and the role of governance

Eric Evans Osei Opoku, Alex O. Acheampong, Olufemi Adewale Aluko

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


Globally, rural areas suffer from less infrastructure relative to urban areas. Political and development economists have mainly attributed this disparity in infrastructure distribution to governance. The literature has sufficiently discussed the role that rural-urban infrastructure inequality plays in development outcomes such as poverty. However, not much is known about the effect of the rural-urban infrastructure gap on the environment. To contribute to knowledge and policy discussions, we investigate the impact of rural-urban energy access (in)equality on environmental degradation and the role governance plays using data from 47 sub-Saharan African countries from 2000–2020. Evidence from the heteroskedasticity-based instrumental variable regression consistent with Driscoll and Kraay's estimation revealed that bridging rural-urban energy access inequality is associated with reduction in environmental degradation. We also documented that the direct effect of the governance-related variables used is mixed. The moderation and marginal effect estimates showed that improving governance quality conditions equality in rural-urban energy access to reduce environmental degradation. From a policy perspective, these findings suggest that the implementation of rural electrification policies supported by a good governance system would play a crucial role in mitigating environmental degradation in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-335
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Policy Modeling
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished Online - 15 Jan 2024


  • Energy equality
  • Environmental degradation
  • Governance
  • Rural-urban energy equality
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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