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Is functional literacy a prerequisite for entering the labor market? An analysis of determinants of adults literacy and earnings in Ghana

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  • Blunch,Niels-Hugo
  • Verner,Dorte

Abstract

The authors analyze the determinants of literacy and earnings in Ghana. They link literacy and earnings with various other factors, including age, gender, family educational background, distance to school, and income. Literacy and age are negatively correlated, suggesting that efforts to strengthen the supply and quality of basic education programs in recent years have succeeded in raising literacy rates. Parents'education is positively associated with literacy. Distance to the nearest primary school, residence in a rural area, and poverty are negatively associated with literacy. Functional literacy appears to be a prerequisite for entering the labor market, which may partly explain the lack of returns to education other than middle school and technical and professional training. The policy implications of this study: Basic education and literacy programs should target girls and poorer households, especially in rural areas.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2410
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters,in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence Kahn, 1995. "The Gender Earnings Gap: Some International Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 105-144 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Blau Francine D & Kahn Lawrence M, 2007. "The Gender Pay Gap," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 4(4), pages 1-6, June.
    4. Lavy, V. & Spratt, J. & Leboucher, N., 1995. "Changing Patterns of Illiteracy in Morocco: Assement Methods Compared," Papers 115, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
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    Cited by:

    1. de Baldini Rocha, Maúna Soares & Ponczek, Vladimir, 2011. "The effects of adult literacy on earnings and employment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 755-764, August.
    2. Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya, 2008. "Socioeconomic, Institutional & Political Determinants Of Human Rights Abuses: A Subnational Study Of India, 1993 – 2002," MPRA Paper 10142, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Rocha, Maúna Soares de Baldini & Ponczek, Vladimir Pinheiro, 2010. "Impacto da alfabetização de adultos sobre salário e emprego," Textos para discussão 215, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).

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