Access to Transport in Rural Malawi

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.

Are Rural Road Investments Alone Sufficient to Generate Transport Flows? Lessons from a Randomized Experiment in Rural Malawi and Policy Implications

This paper draws lessons from an original randomized experiment in Malawi. In order to understand why roads in relatively good condition in rural areas may not be used by buses, a minibus service was subsidized over a six-month period over a distance …