IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Structural Transformation and Labor Market Performance in Ghana


  • Nxumalo, Mpumelelo Author-Name: Raju, Dhushyanth


Structural transformation can spur economic growth and development if it increases overall productivity growth. A labor market environment that enables workers and enterprises to transition smoothly across sectors and into more productive economic pursuits can enhance the effect of structural transformation on economic growth. This study examines Ghana's recent record of structural transformation and labor market performance. Based on the findings, the study proposes ways to further transform the country's economy, in a way that stimulates stronger, sustained growth and produces gainful, productive, and inclusive private employment. The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and associated global economic crisis have posed a substantial setback to Ghana's economic progress and plans, but these challenges also underscore the need for structural transformation that can both strengthen economic performance and improve labor conditions and outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Nxumalo, Mpumelelo Author-Name: Raju, Dhushyanth, "undated". "Structural Transformation and Labor Market Performance in Ghana," Jobs Group Papers, Notes, and Guides 154568, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:jbsgrp:154568

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aart Kraay, 2019. "The World Bank Human Capital Index: A Guide," The World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 34(1), pages 1-33.
    2. Claudio E. Montenegro & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 2014. "Comparable Estimates of Returns to Schooling Around the World," Working Papers wp390, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    3. McMillan, Margaret & Rodrik, Dani & Verduzco-Gallo, Íñigo, 2014. "Globalization, Structural Change, and Productivity Growth, with an Update on Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 11-32.
    4. Paolo Falco & Andrew Kerr & Pierella Paci & Bob Rijkers, 2014. "Working toward Better Pay : Earning Dynamics in Ghana and Tanzania," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 18553, December.
    5. Lo Bello,Salvatore & Sanchez Puerta,Maria Laura & Winkler,Hernan Jorge, 2019. "From Ghana to America : The Skill Content of Jobs and Economic Development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8758, The World Bank.
    6. Chih Ming Tan & Dhanushka Thamarapani, 2019. "The impact of sustained attention on labor market outcomes: The case of Ghana," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 155-171, February.
    7. Nicholas Bloom & Aprajit Mahajan & David McKenzie & John Roberts, 2010. "Why Do Firms in Developing Countries Have Low Productivity?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 619-623, May.
    8. Kathleen Beegle & Eliana Rubiano-Matulevich, 2020. "Adapting Skills Training to Address Constraints to Women’s Participation," World Bank Publications - Reports 33694, The World Bank Group.
    9. Gaaitzen de Vries & Marcel Timmer & Klaas de Vries, 2015. "Structural Transformation in Africa: Static Gains, Dynamic Losses," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(6), pages 674-688, June.
    10. Datta,Namita & Assy,Angela Elzir & Buba,Johanne & Johansson De Silva,Sara & Watson,Samantha Maria, 2018. "Integrated Youth Employment Programs: A Stocktake of Evidence on what works in Youth Employment Programs," Jobs Group Papers, Notes, and Guides 30906061, The World Bank.
    11. Nguimkeu,Pierre & Zeufack,Albert G., 2019. "Manufacturing in Structural Change in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8992, The World Bank.
    12. Beegle,Kathleen G. & Rubiano Matulevich,Eliana Carolina, 2020. "Adapting Skills Training To Address Constraints To Women’s Participation," Jobs Group Papers, Notes, and Guides 32004850, The World Bank.
    13. David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2017. "Business Practices in Small Firms in Developing Countries," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 63(9), pages 2967-2981, September.
    14. Tazeen Fasih, 2008. "Linking Education Policy to Labor Market Outcomes," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 6407, December.
    15. Charles Godfred Ackah & Charles Adjasi & Festus Turkson, 2014. "Scoping Study on the Evolution of Industry in Ghana," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2014-075, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    16. Corden, W Max & Neary, J Peter, 1982. "Booming Sector and De-Industrialisation in a Small Open Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 825-848, December.
    17. Robert Darko Osei & Richmond Atta-Ankomah & Monica P. Lambon-Quayefio, 2020. "Structural transformation and inclusive growth in Ghana," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2020-37, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    18. Dsouza,Ritika & Gatti,Roberta V. & Kraay,Aart C., 2019. "A Socioeconomic Disaggregation of the World Bank Human Capital Index," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9020, The World Bank.
    19. Fafchamps, Marcel & McKenzie, David & Quinn, Simon & Woodruff, Christopher, 2014. "Microenterprise growth and the flypaper effect: Evidence from a randomized experiment in Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 211-226.
    20. Peter Darvas & Marta Favara & Tamara Arnold, 2017. "Stepping Up Skills in Urban Ghana," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 27616, December.
    21. Vasco Molini & Pierella Paci, 2015. "Poverty Reduction in Ghana—Progress and Challenges," World Bank Publications - Reports 22733, The World Bank Group.
    22. Jieun Choi & Mark Dutz & Zainab Usman, 2020. "The Future of Work in Africa [L’avenir du travail en Afrique]," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 32124, December.
    23. T. H. Gindling & Nadwa Mossaad & David Newhouse, 2016. "How Large are Earnings Penalties for Self-Employed and Informal Wage Workers?," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-39, December.
    24. Dino Merotto & Michael Weber & Reyes Aterido, 2018. "Pathways to Better Jobs in IDA Countries," World Bank Publications - Reports 30594, The World Bank Group.
    25. Sena Amewu & Seth Asante & Karl Pauw & James Thurlow, 2020. "The Economic Costs of COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa: Insights from a Simulation Exercise for Ghana," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 32(5), pages 1353-1378, December.
    26. Maddalena Honorati & Sara Johansson de Silva, 2016. "Expanding Job Opportunities in Ghana," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 25208, December.
    27. Fox, Louise & Sohnesen , Thomas Pave, 2012. "Household enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa : why they matter for growth, jobs, and livelihoods," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6184, The World Bank.
    28. Blunch,Niels-Hugo & Verner,Dorte, 2000. "Is functional literacy a prerequisite for entering the labor market? An analysis of determinants of adults literacy and earnings in Ghana," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2410, The World Bank.
    29. Kathleen Beegle & Luc Christiaensen, 2019. "Accelerating Poverty Reduction in Africa [Accélérer la réduction de la pauvreté en Afrique]," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 32354, December.
    30. Jolliffe, Dean, 2004. "The impact of education in rural Ghana: examining household labor allocation and returns on and off the farm," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 287-314, February.
    31. William Baah-Boateng & Eric Twum, 2019. "Economic Complexity and Employment for Women and Youth: The Case of Ghana," Working Papers idrcdprughana, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    32. Viviana V. Roseth & Alexandria Valerio & Marcela Gutierrez, 2016. "Education, Skills, and Labor Market Outcomes," World Bank Publications - Reports 24276, The World Bank Group.
    33. Vasco Molini & Pierella Paci, 2015. "Poverty Reduction in Ghana," World Bank Publications - Reports 22732, The World Bank Group.
    34. Geiger,Michael Tobias & Trenczek,Jan & Wacker,Konstantin M., 2019. "Understanding Economic Growth in Ghana in Comparative Perspective," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8699, The World Bank.
    35. Christabel E. Dadzie & Mawuko Fumey & Suleiman Namara, 2020. "Youth Employment Programs in Ghana," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 34349, December.
    36. World Bank, 2012. "World Development Report 2012 [Rapport sur le développement dans le monde 2012]," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 4391, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Glenn P. Jenkins & Richard Sogah & Abdallah Othman & Mikhail Miklyaev & Çağay Coşkuner, 2023. "Estimation of the Economic Opportunity Cost of Labour: An Operational Guide for Ghana," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(14), pages 1-21, July.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Campbell, Susanna G. & Üngör, Murat, 2020. "Revisiting human capital and aggregate income differences," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 43-64.
    2. Catia Batista & Sandra Sequeira & Pedro C. Vicente, 2022. "Closing the Gender Profit Gap?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 68(12), pages 8553-8567, December.
    3. Diao, Xinshen & McMillan, Margaret, 2018. "Toward an Understanding of Economic Growth in Africa: A Reinterpretation of the Lewis Model," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 511-522.
    4. Gordon Betcherman & Themrise Khan, 2018. "Jobs for Africa’s expanding youth cohort: a stocktaking of employment prospects and policy interventions," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 8(1), pages 1-20, December.
    5. Christian S. Otchia, 2021. "Returns to Educational Attainment in Urban Ghana: The Role of Job-to-Job Transition," Progress in Development Studies, , vol. 21(1), pages 51-67, January.
    6. Tomomi Tanaka, 2019. "Human Capital Development in Ghana," World Bank Publications - Reports 34181, The World Bank Group.
    7. repec:rac:ecchap:2017-15 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli & Torre, Iván, 2022. "Measuring human capital in middle income countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 1036-1067.
    9. Mensah, Emmanuel B., 2020. "Is sub-Saharan Africa deindustrializing?," MERIT Working Papers 2020-045, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    10. Odusola, Ayodele & Lal, Radhika & Dhliwayo, Rogers & Sabo, Isiyaka & Neuhaus, James, 2017. "Drivers of Income Inequality in Burkina Faso, Ghana and the United Republic of Tanzania: A comparative analysis," UNDP Africa Reports 270551, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    11. James Sumberg & Louise Fox & Justin Flynn & Philip Mader & Marjoke Oosterom, 2021. "Africa’s “youth employment” crisis is actually a “missing jobs” crisis," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 39(4), pages 621-643, July.
    12. Gill,Indermit S. & Revenga,Ana L. & Zeballos,Christian, 2016. "Grow, invest, insure : a game plan to end extreme poverty by 2030," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7892, The World Bank.
    13. Rosas, Nina & Acevedo, Maria Cecilia & Zaldivar, Samantha, 2022. "Starting points matter: Cash plus training effects on youth entrepreneurship, skills, and resilience during an epidemic," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 149(C).
    14. Friedson-Ridenour, Sophia & Pierotti, Rachael S., 2019. "Competing priorities: Women’s microenterprises and household relationships," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 53-62.
    15. F. Clementi & A. L. Dabalen & V. Molini & F. Schettino, 2020. "We forgot the middle class! Inequality underestimation in a changing Sub-Saharan Africa," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 18(1), pages 45-70, March.
    16. Abdul‐Rahim Mohammed, 2022. "Discretion on the frontlines of the implementation of the Ghana School Feeding Programme: Street‐Level Bureaucrats adapting to austerity in northern Ghana," Public Administration & Development, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(1), pages 33-43, February.
    17. Lashitew, Addisu A., 2017. "The Uneven Effect of Financial Constraints: Size, Public Ownership, and Firm Investment in Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 178-198.
    18. UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa & Ayodele Odusola & Radhika Lal & Rogers Dhilwayo & Isiyaka Sabo & James Neuhaus, "undated". "Drivers of Income Inequality in Burkina Faso, Ghana and the United Republic of Tanzania: A comparative analysis," UNDP Africa Policy Notes 2017-15, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa.
    19. Edouard Mien & Michaël Goujon, 2022. "40 Years of Dutch Disease Literature: Lessons for Developing Countries," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 64(3), pages 351-383, September.
    20. Eric Gaisie, 2017. "Living standards in pre-independent Ghana: evidence from household budgets," HHB Working Papers Series 7, The Historical Household Budgets Project.
    21. Brian McCaig & Margaret S. McMillan & Iñigo Verduzco-Gallo & Keith Jefferis, 2015. "Stuck in the Middle? Structural Change and Productivity Growth in Botswana," NBER Working Papers 21029, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item


    youth; transition from school to work; employment in the services sector; cost of production due; Labor Market; labor productivity; labor market performance; labor force participation rate; informatio n and communication technology; average for sub-saharan africa; quality of education service; total factor productivity growth; lower level of education; complete secondary education; Micro and Small Enterprises; labor market indicator; national income; wage employment; population subgroup; productivity gain; Agriculture; movement of worker; share of employment; investment and development; return to education; employment rate; overall poverty line; wage employment growth; labor market participation; global value chain; modern economic growth; labor market structure; terms of education; agriculture and service; youth unemployment rate; flat panel display; employment in agriculture; other human development; social protection system; diversification of export; average monthly earnings; natural gas discovery; ratio of women; growth and development; natural resource curse; share of investment; distribution of wage; civil society participation; employment in industry; aggregate productivity growth; privileges and immunity; participation of woman; children under age; real exchange rate; low labor productivity; loss of employment; foreign direct investment; goods for export; depth of poverty; level of employment; loss of income; global economic crisis; machinery and equipment; growth in trade; contribution of industry; decline in remittance; agriculture and industry; east asian miracle; loss in revenue; measure of use; per capita income; adult equivalent consumption; household and individual; share of wage; labor market condition; urban resident; manufacturing sector; average returns; dutch disease; labor condition; working-age population; new product; education attainment; industrial sector; rural area; labor earning; economic diversification; oil production; in school; sectoral distribution; self-employment opportunity; capital accumulation; rural resident; recent years; nonfarm enterprise; average earning; manufactured goods; work status; business service; crude petroleum; minimum wage; financial capital; cocoa bean; overall employment; statistical service; low share; environmental sustainability; enterprise survey; manufacturing enterprise; average productivity; recent past; wage earnings; high share; private employment; relative price; production increase; oil discovery; test score show less;
    All these keywords.


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:jbsgrp:154568. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Selome Assefa Hailemariam (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.