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Determinants of Urban Worker Earnings in Ghana and Tanzania: The Role of Education


  • Priscilla Twumasi Baffour


The paper examines the role of education in earnings determination by using all three rounds of the Urban Worker Surveys of Tanzania and Ghana for 2004-2006. We investigate and compare heterogeneity in earnings determinants among self-employed (informal), private and public sector workers. We examine the role education, individual and household characteristics play in facilitating entry into employment sectors in addition to analysing the pattern of returns to education along the earnings distribution. After addressing endogeneity and selectivity biases associated with estimating earnings equations, we find that education plays an important role in promoting access to formal sector jobs, particularly employment in the public sector, but has no direct impact on earnings within the sector in both countries. Results from quantile regressions indicate primary and secondary levels of education are inequality-reducing among workers in Tanzania but this is not the case in Ghana. Tertiary education on the other hand is found to widen earnings inequality in both Tanzania and Ghana.

Suggested Citation

  • Priscilla Twumasi Baffour, "undated". "Determinants of Urban Worker Earnings in Ghana and Tanzania: The Role of Education," Discussion Papers 13/01, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notcre:13/01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dubin, Jeffrey A & McFadden, Daniel L, 1984. "An Econometric Analysis of Residential Electric Appliance Holdings and Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 345-362, March.
    2. Simon Quinn & Francis Teal, 2008. "Private sector development and income dynamics: A panel study of the Tanzanian labour market," CSAE Working Paper Series 2008-09, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    3. Orley Ashenfelter & Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek, 1999. "A Review of Estimates of the Schooling/Earnings Relationship, with Tests for Publication Bias," Working Papers 804, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    4. Callan, Tim & Harmon, Colm, 1999. "The economic return to schooling in Ireland," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 543-550, November.
    5. Mwabu, Germano & Schultz, T Paul, 1996. "Education Returns across Quantiles of the Wage Function: Alternative Explanations for Returns to Education by Race in South Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 335-339, May.
    6. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
    7. Ashenfelter, Orley & Harmon, Colm & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 1999. "A review of estimates of the schooling/earnings relationship, with tests for publication bias," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 453-470, November.
    8. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-1160, September.
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    Education; Earnings; employment sector; Tanzania; Ghana;


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