Kathryn McDermott

Kathryn McDermott is a Research Associate at J-PAL Africa where she works on the welfare effect of prepaid electricity meters. Kathryn holds an Honours degree in Economics from Stellenbosch University and prior to joining J-PAL in 2014 she completed her Master’s in Economics, which will be conferred in December 2014.

Content by Kathryn McDermott
  • Publication - Policy Brief

    The effect of pre-paid electricity metering on the poor: Evidence from Cape Town

    Prepaid meters are spreading rapidly in the developing world because they facilitate revenue recovery. A pre-paid meter can be charged using a token with a meter-specific code. Tokens can be purchased from the utility company at points of sale, such as grocery stores. The key difference between pre-paid metering and electricity billing is that electricity can be used...

    23 Sep 2019 | Kelsey Jack, Kathryn McDermott, Anja Sautmann

  • Blog post

    Pre-paid electricity metering and its effects on the poor

    Pre-paid meters for electricity or water are spreading rapidly in the developing world. Households that switched from post-paid monthly bills to pre-paid meters in South Africa, reduced their electricity usage drastically. Given that the energy demand of households is typically relatively unresponsive to prices, the question arises as to where these reductions came from....

    11 Sep 2019 | Kelsey Jack, Kathryn McDermott, Anja Sautmann

  • Project

    Paying for power: Prepaid electricity and the spending patterns of the poor

    Revenue recovery is a challenge for electricity providers in developing countries. Poor customers often struggle to pay monthly bills, and providers face both cost and political economy barriers to enforcing payment. Increasingly, prepayment is used to solve this problem in the electricity and water sectors. However, little work has been done so far to understand how...

    24 Aug 2017 | Kelsey Jack, Kathryn McDermott, Anja Sautmann