Department of Economics

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    Energy saving behaviours of middle class households in Ghana, Peru and the Philippines
    (Energy for Sustainable Development, 2022) Never, B.; Sendaza, B.; Kuhn, S.; et al.
    Demand-side management of energy seeks to foster energy efficiency investments and curtailment behaviour in households. The role of environmental concern and knowledge for both types of energy-saving behaviour has hardly been investigated in middle-income countries with growing middle classes and rising electricity demand. Drawing on unique household survey data from Ghana, Peru and the Philippines, this paper analyses the links from individual motivation to behaviour, and from behaviour to the impact on households' total electricity expenditures. We find that consumers with more environmental concern are more likely to adopt curtailment behaviors, but that concern does not influence energy efficiency investments. In turn, higher levels of environmental knowledge makes households' energy efficiency investments more likely but does not influence curtailment. Neither energy efficiency investments nor curtailment behaviours significantly impact households' electricity expenditures. Small differences between Ghana, Peru and the Philippines exist
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    Simulations of Policy Responses and Interventions to Promote Inclusive Adaptation to and Recovery from the COVID-19 Crisis in Ghana
    (International Journal of Microsimulation, 2022) Cooke, E.F.A.; Acheampong, V.; Appiah, S.; et al.
    We assess the impact of COVID-19 shocks on household welfare and the effectiveness of select policies implemented to reduce their impact on welfare in Ghana. We adopt a microsimulation approach to assess the effects of COVID-19 on household welfare. Welfare fell by 34.2% to 41.9% between March and June 2020. Over the same period, the poverty headcount and the Gini index increased by 9 to 10.5 percentage points and 0.4 to 0.6 points, respectively. The number of poor people increased by 2.8 to 3.2 million. The hardest-hit sector was education, followed by agriculture and forestry and fishing, trade and repairs, manufacturing, and other services also affected. The effects vary for men, women and children. While women experienced the largest decline in welfare, men experienced the highest increase in poverty incidence. The three policies selected reduced poverty marginally but were unable to offset the increase in poverty that occurred between March and June. The estimated cost of the three policies is GHS3.7 billion excluding administrative costs, which equates to approximately 1% of 2020 GDP
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    Technical efficiency in the Ghanaian banking sector: does boardroom gender diversity matter?
    (Corporate Governance, 2022) Boadi, I.; Osarfo, D.; Dziwornu, R.
    Purpose: The marginalization of women on boards is a heavily discussed topic across the world. especially in Ghana. Apart from estimating the link between boardroom gender diversity and technical efficiency of banks, this study aims to test the presence of upper-echelons theory in the Ghanaian banking sector. Design/methodology/approach – The study examines data from the 2000–2019 annual reports of 23 banks in Ghana. The stochastic frontier analysis is used to estimate the impact of boardroom gender diversity in technical efficiency of banks in Ghana. Findings: This study finds that greater boardroom gender diversity generates technical efficiencies for banks. The results remain unchanged after accounting for bank types (listed and non-listed). Thus, all banks benefit in terms of technical efficiency from more boardroom gender diversity. The upper echelons theory is validated in the Ghanaian banking context. Overall, the study supports pro-gender diversity on boards. Practical implications: The results have implications at corporate, social and national levels. It supports the need for policies that improve greater boardroom gender diversity. Originality/value: This study adds to the growing number of non-developed countries by investigating the link between the boardroom gender diversity and technical efficiency of banks in Ghana, a country which historically has had minimal female participation in the workforce. New insight is, therefore, offered into this relationship by using data which examines the technical efficiency of banks periods before and after the Women in Finance Charter in 2016.
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    Gender differences in extractive activities: evidence from Ghana
    (International Journal of Social Economics, 2022) Baah-Boateng, W.; Twum, E.K.; Akyeampong, E.K.
    Purpose: The study seeks to examine women’s participation in Ghana’s extractive, growth-driven economy and the quality of this participation in terms of employment status and earnings relative to their male counterparts and establish whether these differences constitute discrimination for policy attention. Design/methodology/approach – The study adopts both quantitative and qualitative methods approaches to assess the extent of gender inequality in employment and earnings in the Ghanaian extractive sector and the sources of these differences. It computes three segregation indices to ascertain the degree of unequal gender distribution of employment based on nationally representative labour force and living standards surveys followed by quantitative analysis of gender earnings differences using Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition technique. This is complemented by the results of the focus Discussion to go behind the numbers and examine the sources of the employment and earnings differences between men and women in extractive activities. Findings: The authors observe lower participation of women in the extractive sector, with a considerable degree of gender segregation and existence of gender earnings gap in favour of men due to differences in observable characteristics such as age, education and occupational skills. There is also evidence of existence of discrimination against women and indications of barriers that impede women’s involvement in high-earning extractive activities in Ghana. The study suggests measures to remove these barriers and improve women’s education particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, to address the gender imbalance in extractive activities in Ghana. Social implications: women’s low involvement in the strong extractive growth-driven process has implication for undermining the effort to empower women economically. Originality/value: The study draws argument from the literature and adopts a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques to establish gender in terms of employment distribution and earnings in favour of males in the Ghanaian extractive sector. This has the effect of undermining women’s economic empowerment and exacerbating gender inequality in the country.
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    Couple’s Decision-making Power, Women’s Labor Market Outcomes and Asset Ownership
    (Population Research and Policy Review, 2022) Owoo, N.S.
    This paper explores the causal link between couple’s household decision-making power and women’s labour market and economic outcomes. Autonomy refers to the condition of independence, while decision-making power can be defined as one’s ability to make important decisions within the household. Autonomy and decision-making power are used interchangeably in this paper.Using the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey and a series of probit, instrumental probit and multinomial logistic regression models, findings suggest that women who have lower autonomy in their households are less likely to be currently employed and even when they are employed, these women have higher odds of working in family businesses, which are typically associated with greater labor market vulnerability. These women are, however, more likely to own assets, a strategy likely aimed at improving their exit options. Interestingly, when men have relatively more power within the household, there are positive implications for women’s labour market outcomes: women are more likely to be currently employed and less likely to be unpaid workers in family businesses. An explanation for this may be found in the country’s high poverty levels and general economic hardships, which necessitates the influx of additional resources into the household through women’s paid employment. Greater absolute and relative autonomy of male partners, however, reduces women’s asset ownership, likely because greater resource accumulation by women, beyond wage receipts, can be an indicator of dominance within the household, a position typically ascribed to men by cultural and patriarchal norms. These results suggest that relative perceptions of authority and autonomy in the household are important determinants of Nigerian women’s labour market behaviours and asset ownership, and the The influence of male partners cannot and should not be underestimated.
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    Residential Energy Demand Elasticity In Ghana: An Application Of The Quadratic Almost Ideal Demand Systems (QUAIDS) Model
    (Cogent Economics & Finance, 2022) Kutortse, D.K.
    The paper seeks to analyze residential energy use patterns and the price of and energy expenditure responsiveness of household demand for residential energy in Ghana, using GLSS 7 data, the multivariate probit model, and the Quadratic Almost Ideal Demand System (QUAIDS) model. The study focuses on four main fuels: firewood, charcoal, and others (FCO), LPG, electricity, and kerosene. The results show that the demand for all household energy fuels in Ghana was significantly influenced by price, income, and social demographic factors. Household demand for electricity and LPG fuels are income-elastic with values greater than 1. while FCO and kerosene fuels are income-inelastic. The own-price elasticity also shows modern fuel (LPG and electricity) as the most responsive fuel to a price increase, even though all energy fuels are price-inelastic and negative. The complementary cross-price elasticity of all fuels estimated must be carefully interpreted in the context of cultural factors, socioeconomic factors, and the unique purposes of each fuel. After a robustness check was done to correct for bias arising from zero energy expenditure, the study finds that the own-price elasticity for modern energy fuel (LGP and ECG) reduced slightly, even though the demand for all energy fuel remains negative and prices are inelastic. The study includes implications forpolicies geared towards reducing the price of residential energy fuels and policies to ensure clean and efficient residential energy fuels are readily accessible for consumption
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    The Effect of the Price of Time on Healthcare Provider Choice In Ghana
    (Humanities And Social Sciences Communications, 2022) Sarkodie, A.O.
    The existing literature confirms that the cost of treatment affects the choice of a particular healthcare provider. The Ghana National Health Insurance Scheme was established in 2003 to reduce the cost of healthcare provision and increase access to healthcare. However, we find that that even when the price is assumed to be “zero”, there remain some economic costs for choosing a particular healthcare provider over another. This is called the price of time or opportunity cost. The study uses data from the seventh round of the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS 7) conducted in 2016–2017 and employed multinomial probit regression as the technique for the analysis. The study finds that travel time and waiting time have significant effects on the choice of healthcare provider. If travel time and waiting time increase by 1 hour, it will decrease the probability of seeking healthcare by 12% and 17%, respectively. Travel cost were not found to have a significant effect. The recommendations are: that policymakers should make the effort to decrease travel time and waiting time at the health facilities in the country to improve healthcare delivery
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    Does informal banking influence monetary policy transmission? Some empirical evidence for Ghana
    (International Journal of Finance & Economics, 2020) Ayisi, R.K.
    Informal banking activities have been increasing in many economies in recent years. times. These activities, though are interrelated with the formal banking activities, fall within a different regulatory framework within which the central bank conducts monetary policy. This has a potential effect on monetary transmission. The study, thus, investigated this issue from a Ghanaian perspective using the local projection approach. Using data sourced from the World Bank and Bank of Ghana databases, the study estimated an incomplete monetary pass-through for Ghana. Notwithstanding this, informal banking further weakens the pass-through. Other factors, such as non-performing loans and excess liquidity and the level of financial development were identified as weakening the pass-through. These findings highlight the need for a prudent monetary framework that can address the challenge informal banking brings to monetary policy implementation.
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    Trade-induced environmental quality: the role of factor endowment and environmental regulation in Africa
    (Climate and Development, 2019) Twerefou, D.K.; Akpalu, W.; Mensah, A.C.E.
    This paper investigates whether trade liberalization affects environmental quality (proxied by CO2 emissions) and, if so, whether the trade-induced emissions originate from differences in countries’ economic growth, factor endowment or environmental regulations. We used panel data on 30 African countries and the Generalized Method of Moment estimation techniques. Though we found that trade openness is associated with elevated levels of CO2 emissions due to comparative advantage originating from factor endowment (i.e. composition effect), the overall effects of trade are seen to have some beneficial effects on environmental quality. Also, relative economic growth lowers emissions (scale effect) perhaps due to technology transfer. Furthermore, the differences in environmental regulations do not directly affect CO2 emissions while past levels of CO2 emissions significantly increase the current level due to the cumulative effect of CO2 emissions. To achieve a significant reduction in emissions, environmental regulations must be enforced in tandem with growth enhancing and production technology choice policies.
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    The Effects Of Us Covid-19 Policy Responses On Cryptocurrencies, Fintech And Artificial Intelligence Stocks: A Fractional Integration Analysis
    (Cogent Economics & Finance, 2022) Abakah, E.J.A.; Caporale, G.M.; Gil-Alana, L.A.
    This paper assesses the impact of US policy responses to COVID-19. pandemic on various technology-related assets such as cryptocurrencies, financial technology, and artificial intelligence stocks using fractional integration techniques. More precisely, it analyzes the behavior of the percentage returns in the case of nine major coins (Bitcoin—BITC, Stella—STEL, Litecoin—LITE, Ethereum—ETHE, XRP) (Ripple), Dash, Monero—MONE, NEM, Tether—TETH) and two technology-related stock market indices (the KBW NASDAQ Technology Index—KFTX, and the NASDAQ Artificial Intelligence Index (AI) over the period 1 January 2020–5 March 2021. The results suggest that fiscal measures such as debt relief and fiscal policy announcements had positive effects on the series examined during the pandemic. when an increased mortality rate tended instead to drive them down; by contrast, monetary measures and announcements appear to have had very little impact, the Covid-19 containment measures are none at all.
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    Union ‘facilitation effect’ and access to non-wage benefits in the Ghanaian labour market
    (Oxford Development Studies, 2020) Owoo, N.S.; Lambon-Quayefio, M.P.; Dávalos, J.; Manu, S.B.
    Effective access to mandatory non-wage benefits is key to workers achiev ing decent working conditions. This paper investigates the effects of union presence on workers’ access to non-wage benefits in the Ghanaian labor market. The study draws its data from the 2012–2013 Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS 6) and specifies a multivariate model that simultaneously controls for endogeneity and potential sam ple-selection biases. We find that unions have a significant effect on facilitation among workers by improving awareness of and access to work benefits. Other factors that affect benefit entitlements in Ghana include the gender of a worker, urbanization, firm size, sector formality, public v.s. private sector jobs, type of occupation, and the presence of work contracts amongst others. Results presented here indicate that workers from formal-sector firms with union presence are more likely to have access to non-wage benefits. It is also found that despite the statu tory nature of these non-wage benefits, non-compliance was common, predominantly in the informal sector but also in the formal sector. This is particularly the case with respect to maternity leave benefits and indicates a need for greater enforcement of these laws.
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    Choice of household adaptation strategies to flood risk management in Accra, Ghana
    (City and Environment Interactions, 2019) Twerefou, D.K.; Adu-Danso, E.; Abbey, E.; Dovie, B.D.
    In this paper, we discuss the psychological and socio-economic factors as well as the constraints that inhibit private precautionary flood-risk mitigation measures among urban households in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area of Ghana within the Protection Motivation framework. The results show that threat appraisal has mixed effects on the decisions by households to adopt a damage protection measure against flooding. With regards to coping appraisal, the study found that households who do not feel helpless about flooding in the neighbourhood resort to some struc tural measures such as reinforcing their house against flood damage. The study also finds that socio-economic factors have an overall positive effect on protective behaviour. Additionally, structural measures taken by the public sector to provide protection against damage from a flood are shown to complement the adoption of some specific private pro tective measures such as clearing drains and sandbagging by households. We, therefore, recommend policy choices to focus on the provision of the needed community-level flood protection infrastructure since it stimulates private flood precautionary measures
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    Domestic revenue displacement in resource-rich countries: What’s oil money got to do with it?
    (Resources Policy, 2020) Chachu, D.O.
    Cross-country studies on the effect of hydrocarbon revenues and non-hydrocarbon tax effort are only now emerging. Using an expanded global dataset in a two-stage least squares framework, we confirm a displacement effect. A percentage point increase in hydrocarbon revenues displaces non-hydrocarbon revenues by 0.2 to 0.3 percentage points. With low levels of domestic revenue and a debt crises looming for many developing countries, resource-rich countries need to leverage on their resource wealth to invigorate the non-resource sectors of their economies. This should widen the tax base and optimize the tax take for oil-rich countries over the long haul.
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    The transition of Ghana’s cooling appliance sector to a circular economy via a small wins governance framework
    (Sustainable Production and Consumption, 2024) Kuhn, S.; Opoku, R.; Diaba, D. D.; et al
    Air conditioning poses environmental, socioeconomic, and political challenges, especially in sub-Saharan countries such as Ghana, where almost all devices are imported. Thus far, socio-economically feasible path ways for a cooling transition to a circular economy are unclear. Drawing on qualitative interviews, field ob servations and survey data, this study analyses the potential of small wins governance as a pathway to sweeping system change along Ghana’s air-conditioners’ lifecycle. The research analyses the status quo and identifies potential small wins that could lead to transformative shifts in the cooling sector. Through a mixed-methods approach encompassing interviews, surveys, and field assessments, the study uncovers small wins at four stages of the air conditioner lifecycle, from (1) import, (2) retail & purchase, (3) usage & service, and (4) end-of life management practices. For policymakers and practitioners, our results imply that they should (a) system atically encourage and reap small wins in public-private spaces in the short-term, e.g. changing the incentive structure for staff controlling imports of air conditioners, (b) adjust supporting policies as learning dynamics unfold over time (e.g., energy and refrigerant standards and labels, tax system), but (c) also keep pushing for big wins in the mid-term (e.g., constructions of a recycling plant for refrigerants in West Africa). The findings emphasize the need for a behavioural, consumer-oriented perspective for the pragmatic potential of small wins towards a circular economy. Overall, the study addresses significant gaps in the literature and suggests that bottom-up approaches may offer more success than attempting broad top-down system changes. The paper contributes to the wider discourse on social-ecological transitions and offers valuable insights for policymakers, industry stakeholders, and researchers aiming to foster sustainable practices in the cooling sector.
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    Food systems thinking unpacked: a scoping review on industrial diets among adolescents in Ghana
    (Food Security, 2023) Sambu, W.C.; Picchioni, F.; Stevano, S.; Codjoe, E.A.; Nkegbe, P.K.; Turner, C.
    Unhealthy diets are among the main risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In Sub Saharan Africa, NCDs were responsible for 37% of deaths in 2019, rising from 24% in 2000. There is an increasing emphasis on health harming industrial foods, such as ultra-processed foods (UPFs), in driving the incidence of diet-related NCDs. However, there is a methodological gap in food systems research to adequately account for the processes and actors that shape UPFs consumption across the diferent domains of the food systems framework and macro-meso-micro levels of analysis. This paper interrogates how the Food Systems Framework for Improved Nutrition (HLPE in Nutrition and food systems. A report by the high level panel of experts on food security and nutrition of the committee on world food security, 2017), considered the dominant framework to analyse nutrition, and language of interdisciplinarity are practised in research with regards to consumption of UPFs among adolescents in Ghana, a population group that is often at the forefront of dramatic shifts in diets and lifestyles. We conducted a scoping review of studies published between 2010 and February 2022, retrieved 25 studies, and mapped the fndings against the domains and analysis levels of the Food Systems Framework for Improved Nutrition (HLPE in Nutrition and food systems. A report by the high level panel of experts on food security and nutrition of the committee on world food security, 2017). Our study illustrates that there is a tendency to address unhealthy diets among adolescents in a siloed manner, and as a behavioural and nutritional issue. In most cases, the analyses fail to show how domains of the food systems framework are connected and do not account for linkages across diferent levels of analysis. Methodologically, there is a quantitative bias. From the policy point of view, there is a disconnect between national food policies and food governance (i.e., trade and regulations) and initiatives and measures specifcally targeted at adolescent’s food environments and the drivers of UPFs consumption.
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    Estimating public and private sectors’ union wage effects in Ghana: is there a disparity?
    (International Journal of Social Economics, 2023) Owusu-Afriyie, J.; Baffou, P.T.; Baah-Boateng, W.
    Purpose – This study seeks to estimate union wage effect in the public and private sectors of Ghana, respectively. It also seeks to ascertain whether the union wage effect in the two sectors varies. Design/methodology/approach – The authors use data from the Ghana Living Standards Survey 6 (GLSS 6, 2012/2013) and Ghana Labour Force Survey (GLFS, 2015). In terms of estimation technique, the authors employ the Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition technique to estimate union wage effect in public and private sectors, respectively. Findings – The findings indicate that union wage effect in the public sector is positive and higher relative to that of the private sector. Practical implications – The findings imply that strict enforcement of Section 82 of Labour Act 2003 (Act 651) will curb the political influence of public sector unions over their employer (Government). Originality/value – This research paper has not been presented to any journal for publication and it is the authors’ original work.
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    Unconditional cash transfers and safe transitions to adulthood in Malawi
    (World Development, 2024) Lambon-Quayefio, M.; Peterman, A.; Handa, S.; et al.
    As national social safety nets are expanding in Africa and globally, evidence on the impact of programs on youth transitions can help guide future investment and program design decisions. This paper examines the effects of Malawi’s flagship cash transfer program on safe transitions to adulthood among youth living in households experiencing ultra-poverty. The evaluation was a cluster-randomized control trial implemented over three years using panel data on youth aged 13 to 19 at baseline. Household receipt of bi-monthly transfers led to im provements in four out of six outcome domains: 1) education, 2) physical health, 3) emotional wellbeing and mental health, and 4) sexual and reproductive health. There were limited or no impacts on outcomes related to HIV risk and time use. Results imply that similar programs in the region may also facilitate safe youth transitions. Nonetheless, more intentional gender- and youth-specific designs may have promise for more holistic impacts, and further evidence is needed on longer-term effects.
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    How optimal is Ghana’s single-digit inflation targeting? An assessment of monetary policy effectiveness in Ghana
    (African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, 2023) Amoatey, R.; Ayisi, R.K.; Osei-Assibey, E.
    Purpose: The purpose of this study is twofold. First, to estimate an optimal inflation rate for Ghana and second, to investigate factors that account for the differences between observed and target inflation. Design/methodology/approach – The paper explored the questions within two econometric frameworks: the Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) and Threshold Regression Models using data spanning the period 1965–2019. Findings: The study estimated a range of 5–7% optimal inflation for Ghana. While this confirms the single-digit inflation targeting by the Bank of Ghana, the range is lower than the central bank’s band of 6–10%. The combined behaviours of the central bank, banks and external outlook influence inflation target misses. Practical implications: The study urges the central bank to continue pursuing its single-digit inflation targeting. However, it implies that there is still room for the Bank to further lower the current inflation band to achieve an optimal outcome for growth and welfare. Again, the Bank should commit to increased transparency and accountability to enhance its credibility in attaining the targeted inflation. Originality/value – The study is one of the first attempts in Africa and Ghana to estimate optimal inflation target and investigate the underlying factors for deviation from the targets
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    Government health expenditure and child health: empirical evidence from Wes
    (International Journal of Social Economics, 2023) Osei, B.; Kulu, E.; Appiah-Konadu, P.
    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to study the effect of government health expenditure on the health of children (under-five mortality rate and prevalence rate of stunting) among West African countries. Design/methodology/approach –The study utilizes heterogeneous panel from the period 1990 to 2018 among 16 West African countries for the analysis. The effect of government health expenditure on under-five mortality rate is measured in per 1,000 live births while that of stunting is measured in percentage. The study employs Pooled Mean Group (PMG) estimation technique and Impulse Response Functions (IRFs) for the analysis. Findings – The results indicate that government health expenditure has negative effect on under-five mortality rate and prevalence rate of stunting in the long-run but not significant in the short-run. In addition, the IRFs result indicates that under-five mortality rate and prevalence rate of stunting both respond negatively to shocks in government health expenditure. Practical implications – Governments should ensure that inefficiencies in the public health sector are reduced by licensing the health workers of this sector and allowing independent bodies to appoint the heads of health institutions. This will improve the delivering of health services for the health of children. Originality/value – Previous studies carried out have not examined the short-run and long-run effects of the relationship under study among West African countries
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    Education, skills, and duration of unemployment in Ghana
    (Cogent Economics & Finance, 2023) Gyan, E.Y.; Debrah, G.; Adanu, K.; Atitsogbui, E.
    The unmatched growth in available jobs, given the rising youth popula tion, is a major concern for policymakers in sub-Saharan African countries (SSAs), particularly Ghana. The weakness in the link between education and the needed skill by the industry, has been labelled as the cause of rising unemployment and prolonged unemployment duration in Ghana. This paper presents new evidence on the effect of education and skill—language, computer and numeracy skills—on unemployment duration in Ghana using the Skill Towards Employment and Productivity (STEP) skill dataset collected by the World Bank in 2013. The study employs Cox’s Proportional Hazard Model to examine the effect of education, language, computer and numeracy skill on unemployment duration. We found that education reduces the duration of unemployment in general. However, the effect is higher for exiting salaried work compared to self-employed jobs. Proficiency in computer, English or Ewe reduces the duration of unemployment. In particular, we observe that individuals highly skilled in computer use are 34.4% more likely to exit unemployment compared to those without computer skills. Interestingly, the effect of computer skills is through channels other than formal education.