Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/229330
Authors: 
Boahen, Emmanuel Adu
Opoku, Kwadwo
Schotte, Simone
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
WIDER Working Paper No. 2020/106
Abstract: 
This paper provides new evidence on the causal effect of shortening the duration of pre-university education on long-term labour market outcomes in Ghana. We use the education reform of 1987 as a natural experiment, which reduced the years of education prior to university from 17 to 12 years. Our identification strategy uses a regression discontinuity design, taking advantage of the situation that pre- and post-reform birth cohorts entered the labour market around the same time, thus facing similar conditions. Our results indicate that the drastic cut in the duration of pre-tertiary education improved the labour market success of treated cohorts. However, this is driven by a 'quantity' effect: the shorter course duration reduced the direct and indirect costs of acquiring post-primary education and allowed more students to enrol, which provided access to better job opportunities. On aggregate, this has dominated the negative effect on education 'quality'.
Subjects: 
years of education
labour market outcomes
regression discontinuity
Ghana
JEL: 
D04
I28
J21
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
ISBN: 
978-92-9256-863-4
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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