The Impact of Quality Foundational Skills on Youth Employment in Africa: Does Institutional Quality Matter?

IFPRI Discussion Paper 01963, September 2020

38 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2020

See all articles by Kehinde O. Olagunju

Kehinde O. Olagunju

Agri-Food and Biosciences (AFBI)

Adebayo Ogunniyi

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Kunle Oguntegbe

Department of Economics, Management & Institutions, University of Naples 'Federico II'; Department of Economics, Management & Institutions, University of Naples 'Federico II'

Zainab Usman

Saint Istvan University

Adewale H. Adenuga

Agri-Food and Biosciences (AFBI)

Kwaw Andam

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Date Written: September 4, 2020

Abstract

Despite impressive progress in the economic performance of many African countries in recent years, youth unemployment remains one of the continent’s main socioeconomic and political problems. This study employs panel data covering 49 African countries for the period 2000–2017 to provide the first attempt to explicitly examine the dynamic relationship between quality foundational skills, measured by basic education quality (teacher-pupil ratio), and youth unemployment, while considering the conditional role of institutional capacity, measured by control of corruption, regulatory quality, and financial development. The empirical estimation in this paper is based on a two-step system generalized method of moments (SGMM), in order to control for unobserved heterogeneity and potential endogeneity of all the explanatory variables. The following are the main findings: First, youth unemployment is persistent in Africa. Second, quality of basic education exerts a negative impact on youth unemployment. Third, greater control of corruption, improved regulatory quality, and better structured financial sectors strengthen the effect of quality basic education in reducing youth unemployment. These findings provide a clear policy pathway for reducting youth unemployment. In particular, we recommend that better quality basic education, a well-structured financial structure, and institutional quality should constitute a fundamental component of the policy mix to reduce youth unemployment in Africa.

Keywords: Africa, Africa South of Sahara, Central Africa, East Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Youth, Youth Employment, Employment, Education, Basic Education, Skills, Gender, Institutions, Job Creation

Suggested Citation

Olagunju, Kehinde O. and Ogunniyi, Adebayo and Oguntegbe, Kunle Francis and Oguntegbe, Kunle Francis and Usman, Zainab and Adenuga, Adewale H. and Andam, Kwaw, The Impact of Quality Foundational Skills on Youth Employment in Africa: Does Institutional Quality Matter? (September 4, 2020). IFPRI Discussion Paper 01963, September 2020 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3686889 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3686889

Kehinde O. Olagunju (Contact Author)

Agri-Food and Biosciences (AFBI) ( email )

Belfast
Northern Ireland

Adebayo Ogunniyi

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Kunle Francis Oguntegbe

Department of Economics, Management & Institutions, University of Naples 'Federico II' ( email )

Monte Sant'Angelo
Via Cintia, 24
Naples, CA Campania 80126
Italy
+393512819664 (Phone)

Department of Economics, Management & Institutions, University of Naples 'Federico II' ( email )

Monte Sant'Angelo
Via Cintia, 24
Naples, CA Campania 80126
Italy
80126 (Fax)

Zainab Usman

Saint Istvan University ( email )

Páter Károly u. 1
Gödöllõ, 2100
Hungary

Adewale H. Adenuga

Agri-Food and Biosciences (AFBI) ( email )

Belfast
Northern Ireland

Kwaw Andam

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

2033 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
United States

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