Essays on education and employment in Ghana

Darko, Christian Kweku (2016). Essays on education and employment in Ghana. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This thesis examines how family background, measured as parents education, and household access to amenities affects children’s school enrolment, and how parents education affects earnings. I also examine how education and family background affects performance of unregistered urban businesses.
In the first empirical study, rural educated parents’ effects on biological children’s enrolment were stronger, with educated fathers’ effects positive for boys and girls. Educated mothers helped boys, perhaps indicating more “traditional” values among women. Urban educated parents’ effects were weaker, which is plausible, given the weaker influence of “traditional” values. For non-biological urban children, educated mothers effect were adverse, suggesting that children fulfil a servant-type role to facilitate the educated mother’s market work. Poor access to amenities reduces enrolment.
In the second empirical study, while family background was important for education, there were also direct effects of family background on earnings given education for urban individuals, implying that “connections” and nepotism may be important.
The final study shows that education is important for performance of unregistered businesses without workers. Among firms with workers, education is insignificant, a result admittedly difficult to explain. Parental business ownership assists performance, an implication that parental business owners can effectively train children to business ownership.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Birmingham Business School
Funders: Other
Other Funders: The University of Birmingham
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education


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