Ghana has experienced rapid economic growth and significant reduction in poverty levels in recent times. However, the reduction in poverty has not translated into a reduction in inequality. Coloumbe and Wodon (2007), and also Cooke et al. (2016) recognise the spatial inequality that exists in the country, manifested particularly in the differences in income levels between the northern and southern parts of Ghana. Evidence by Oduro et al. (2011) and FAO (2012) also point to persistent gender inequalities relating to access to and control of assets as well as access to secured and less vulnerable employment.
According to Corak (2013), economic inequalities limit opportunities for economic and social advancement of the next generation as increased inequalities often alter the opportunities and the incentives for households to invest in the human capital development of their children.
This project is part of a European facility for a research program on inequalities in developing and emerging countries which is coordinated by the AFD. Financed by the Development Cooperation Instrument of the European Union, this facility enables to implement 20 research projects over the period 2017-2020, in partnership with donors and research centers from the South to the North.
This project will draw on and consolidate this evidence-base and then fill some important, policy-relevant gaps that remain. By design, the research program outlined below seeks to address distributional issues in both the bottom half and the top of the distribution. The work program recognises from the outset that there are several dimensions of human development and wellbeing, and progress in some measures might be accompanied by deterioration in others. It recognises that economic growth does not necessarily lead to equitable outcomes – both poverty and inequality have self-reinforcing characteristics that are hard to counter.
The research project will be developed across three work streams:
- The diagnostic study on inequality in Ghana will in essence aim to produce a report on inequality in Ghana. It will explore the census data and include an analysis of spatial inequality using the most recent poverty maps of Ghana. In view of this the team will be working with the Ghana Statistical Service to produce this report. This report will be based on a common framework to be developed by the hub of the ACEIR network.
- The researchers will take advantage of the two rounds of the Ghana Socioeconomic Panel Survey (GSPS) which are a result of collaboration between Yale University and ISSER. Using this data they intend to study how economic inequality has changed in Ghana over the period 2010 to 2014 (Wave 1 & 2 respectively) and what explains the changes. In particular, they will try to analyse the changing dynamics from a spatial, gender (of household head and at the individual levels) and ethnicity perspective.
- A paper on is the relationship between economic inequalities and inequalities in education opportunities in the context of Ghana. Even though enrolment rates in Ghana are generally very high, the inputs for good educational outcomes, such as the quality of school infrastructure, books and other educational materials are not equally available to pupils due to economic inequality. This in turn will have implications for educational outcomes and consequently future welfare status of these pupils as Mayer (2010) and Corak (2013) suggest. The researchers involved in this project hope to use this study to contribute to a better understanding of the nature and extent of this relationship. The study will use the two waves of the Ghana Socioeconomic Panel Survey (GSPS).
The first results will be available in May 2019.