What Have Reforms Delivered So Far?-A Quantitative Analysis of Power Sector Reform Impacts in the ASEAN Economies

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Revisiting Electricity Market Reforms: Lessons for ASEAN and East Asia


The importance of the power sector to the ASEAN economies in delivering improved socio-economic prosperity is undeniable. Therefore, reforms in the power sector and their role in guiding the energy policy trilemma of affordability, sustain-ability, and security of supply should be studied properly. This chapter quantitatively examines the socio-economic and technical impacts of power sector reforms in the 10 ASEAN member countries, relying on the novel data set spanning 1990-2018. We capture the effects of power sector reforms across the economic, technical, and welfare dimensions. Our findings suggest that the impacts of power sector reforms are mixed and heterogeneous even though reforms successfully improved the technical performance of the power sector by minimising network losses. Furthermore, the absence of proper institutions supporting market-based reforms meant that reforms also did not generate the anticipated effects across the economic, technical, and welfare dimensions. We also find that the ASEAN economies should not solely rely on power sector reforms to boost electricity consumption in the region but accelerate policies to improve electricity access. Our results are insightful since we control for the effects of cross-sectional dependence, which many prior empirical studies on power sector reforms failed to do so.

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