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Mother s Non-Farm Entrepreneurship and Child Secondary Education in Rural Ghana


  • Janssens, C.
  • Van Den Broeck, G.
  • Maertens, M.
  • Lambrecht, I.


While an important share of the rural population in Sub-Saharan Africa owns a non-farm enterprise (NFE), it is unclear how these businesses, especially among female owners, contribute to rural development. This study investigates the missing link between rural NFEs and children s education in developing countries. Using nationally representative data for Ghana and instrumental variable regressions that pass weak and overidentification restrictions, we estimate the impact of mother s non-farm entrepreneurship on the propensity of child secondary school enrolment. We find a strong significant positive effect of 10.6% points, corresponding to a relative increase of 27.2%. We find a positive effect on Junior High School enrolment but not on Senior High School enrolment, which relates to lower expenses and a better spread in payment for Junior High School education. The school-improving effect of mother s NFE is equally strong for boys and girls and for high- and low-educated mothers, and stronger for poorer households. While most of NFEs are small-scale and informal, our results show that even these businesses result in increased investments in child schooling and directly contribute to development. The results imply that NFEs can stimulate schooling among children of low-educated and poor mothers and thereby reduce inequality in rural education. Acknowledgement : We gratefuly acknowledge the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Accra, Ghana for the support provided in the field research and VLIR-UOS for the travel grant for the research stay in Ghana.

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  • Janssens, C. & Van Den Broeck, G. & Maertens, M. & Lambrecht, I., 2018. "Mother s Non-Farm Entrepreneurship and Child Secondary Education in Rural Ghana," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277038, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae18:277038

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Charles Ackah, 2013. "Nonfarm Employment And Incomes In Rural Ghana," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 325-339, April.
    2. Rijkers, Bob & Costa, Rita, 2012. "Gender and Rural Non-Farm Entrepreneurship," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(12), pages 2411-2426.
    3. Isabel Lambrecht & Monica Schuster & Sarah Asare Samwini & Laura Pelleriaux, 2018. "Changing gender roles in agriculture? Evidence from 20 years of data in Ghana," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 49(6), pages 691-710, November.
    4. Gero Carletto & Katia Covarrubias & Benjamin Davis & Marika Krausova & Kostas Stamoulis & Paul Winters & Alberto Zezza, 2007. "Rural income generating activities in developing countries: re-assessing the evidence," The Electronic Journal of Agricultural and Development Economics, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, vol. 4(1), pages 146-193.
    5. Davis, Benjamin & Di Giuseppe, Stefania & Zezza, Alberto, 2017. "Are African households (not) leaving agriculture? Patterns of households’ income sources in rural Sub-Saharan Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 153-174.
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