Is Functional Literacy a Prerequisite for Entering the Labor Market? An Analysis of the Determinants of Adult Literacy and Earnings in Ghana

41 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2002

See all articles by Niels-Hugo Blunch

Niels-Hugo Blunch

Washington and Lee University; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Dorte Verner

World Bank - Latin America and Caribbean Region

Date Written: April 2000

Abstract

The policy implications of this study of the determinants of literacy and earnings in Ghana: Basic education and literacy programs should target girls and poorer households, especially in rural areas.

Blunch and Verner analyze the determinants of literacy and earnings in Ghana. They link literacy and earnings with various other factors, including age, gender, family educational background, distance to school, and income.

Literacy and age are negatively correlated, suggesting that efforts to strengthen the supply and quality of basic education programs in recent years have succeeded in raising literacy rates.

Parents' education is positively associated with literacy. Distance to the nearest primary school, residence in a rural area, and poverty are negatively associated with literacy.

Functional literacy appears to be a prerequisite for entering the labor market, which may partly explain the lack of returns to education other than middle school and technical and professional training.

The policy implications of this study: Basic education and literacy programs should target girls and poorer households, especially in rural areas.

This paper is a joint product of Human Development 3, Africa Technical Families, and Economic Policy Sector Unit, Latin America and the Caribbean Region. The authors may be contacted at nblunch@worldbank.org or dverner@worldbank.org.

JEL Classification: I21, J31, O12

Suggested Citation

Blunch, Niels-Hugo and Verner, Dorte, Is Functional Literacy a Prerequisite for Entering the Labor Market? An Analysis of the Determinants of Adult Literacy and Earnings in Ghana (April 2000). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=302110

Niels-Hugo Blunch (Contact Author)

Washington and Lee University ( email )

Department of Economics
Lexington, VA 24450
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.wlu.edu/williams-school/economics/faculty-and-staff/profile?ID=x258

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Dorte Verner

World Bank - Latin America and Caribbean Region ( email )

1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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