Globalization, Fertility and Female Education in Ghana


End date: 31 July, 2016 Project type: BSU Students' Master Thesis Project code: mge13-2A1 BSU Countries: Ghana Lead institution: Aarhus University (AU), Denmark Partner institutions: University of Southern Denmark (SDU), Denmark Project coordinator: Ruby Elorm Agbenyega

Project summary

According to Unified Growth Theory, a demographic transition is a prerequisite for an economy to be ushered into an era of sustained economic growth. In order for this demographic transition to occur, an economy has to undergo structural change, accompanied by an increase in the demand for and investment in human capital. This will result in lower fertility rates because of the quantity-quality trade-off, since parents begin to choose child quality over quantity. Several developing countries, Ghana inclusive, are yet to fully undergo this demographic transition. One interesting mechanism, theorized by Galor and Mountford (2008), is the undesirable effects globalization has on human capital accumulation and fertility in countries which are technologically disadvantaged and hence possess a comparative advantage in the production of unskilled labor intensive goods. The main aim of this thesis was to test this theory of globalization and divergence with a focus on the effects trade liberalization has on female educational outcomes and fertility, using Ghana as a case study. The study was conducted by adopting a regional panel approach and pooled cross-sectional analysis based on three rounds of the Ghana Living Standard Survey Data between the years 1998 and 2013. In addition, four different regional tariff exposure measures; referred to as tariff, tradable tariff, manufacturing and agriculture tariff, were computed to help capture trade exposure at the regional level.
Findings from the panel estimation indicate that tariff exposure results in higher fertility and lower female education under certain conditions. At the sectoral level, less manufacturing tariff protection is associated with higher fertility while agriculture openness does not seem to have any statistically significant impact on fertility, while with regards to female education, manufacturing and agriculture tariff exposure do not have any statistical significant impact, even though the directions of their effects are in line with the Galor and Mountford (2008) theory.
The cross-sectional results depict a statistical significant negative impact of agriculture tariff protection on human capital formation, pointing to the fact that agriculture tariff protection reduces the incentive for investment in human capital.
Go back to all projects