Literacy, Skills, and Welfare: Effects of Participation in Adult Literacy Programs
This paper examines the effect of adult literacy program participation on household consumption in Ghana. The adult literacy programs in Ghana are of special interest because they are more comprehensive than standard literacy programs and incorporate many additional topics. We use community fixed effects combined with instrumental variables to account for possible endogenous program placement and self-selection into program participation. For households where none of the adults have completed any formal education we find a substantial, positive, and statistically significant effect on household consumption. Our preferred estimate of the effect of participation for households without education is equivalent to a 10% increase in consumption per adult equivalent. The effects of participation on welfare for other households are smaller, not statistically significant, and become smaller the more educated the household is. We find positive and statistically significant effects of participation on literacy and numeracy rates, although the increases are too small to be the only explanation for the welfare effects. There is also evidence that participants are more likely to engage in market activities and to sell a variety of agricultural goods. Taking account of both direct cost and opportunity cost, we argue that the social returns of adult literacy programs are substantial.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Dustmann, Christian & Fabbri, Francesca, 2000.
"Language Proficiency and Labour Market Performance of Immigrants in the UK,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2487, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Christian Dustmann & Francesca Fabbri, 2003. "Language proficiency and labour market performance of immigrants in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 695-717, 07.
- Dustmann, Christian & Fabbri, Francesca, 2000. "Language Proficiency and Labour Market Performance of Immigrants in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 156, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Green, David A. & Craig Riddell, W., 2003. "Literacy and earnings: an investigation of the interaction of cognitive and unobserved skills in earnings generation," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 165-184, April.
- Moll, Peter G, 1998. "Primary Schooling, Cognitive Skills and Wages in South Africa," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(258), pages 263-84, May.
- Boissiere, M & Knight, J B & Sabot, R H, 1985. "Earnings, Schooling, Ability, and Cognitive Skills," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1016-30, December.
- Daniel Ortega & Francisco Rodríguez, 2008. "Freed from Illiteracy? A Closer Look at Venezuela's Misión Robinson Literacy Campaign," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(1), pages 1-30, October.
- Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1986. "Evaluating the Effects of Optimally Distributed Public Programs: ChildHealth and Family Planning Interventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 470-82, June.
- Mitra, Aparna, 2002. "Mathematics skill and male-female wages," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 443-456.
- Ribar, David C., 2004. "What Do Social Scientists Know About the Benefits of Marriage? A Review of Quantitative Methodologies," IZA Discussion Papers 998, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Ishikawa, Mamoru & Ryan, Daniel, 2002. "Schooling, basic skills and economic outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 231-243, June.
- John H. Tyler & Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett, 2000.
"Do the Cognitive Skills of School Dropouts Matter in the Labor Market?,"
Journal of Human Resources,
University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 748-754.
- John H. Tyler & Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett, 1999. "Do the Cognitive Skills of School Dropouts Matter in the Labor Market?," NBER Working Papers 7101, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995.
"The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-66, May.
- Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Frank Levy, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," NBER Working Papers 5076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Barry R. Chiswick & Yew Liang Lee & Paul W. Miller, 2003.
"Schooling, Literacy, Numeracy and Labour Market Success,"
The Economic Record,
The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 79(245), pages 165-181, 06.
- Chiswick, Barry R. & Lee, Yew Liang & Miller, Paul W., 2002. "Schooling, Literacy, Numeracy and Labor Market Success," IZA Discussion Papers 450, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/661219. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.