Access to Transport in Rural Malawi

Development Economics

Jessica Goldberg

Niall Keleher

Annika Müller

Gaël Raballand

Rebecca Thornton

Dean Yang


December 28, 2019

Access to transportation is generally considered to be a fundamental determinant of economic growth and a significant factor in an individual’s health, schooling, and economic status. In Malawi, we studied the introduction of a daily minibus service that connected five rural villages and the nearby market town. Although a majority of households used the new bus service, demand was very sensitive to price and was never sufficient to cover operational costs. This suggests that upgrades to transport infrastructure in rural areas will not necessary lead to greater access to affordable transport services.