Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Zürich 2008 39
This paper analyses changes in income portfolios of rural households and its determinants for the case of Ghana in the 1990s. Our analysis shows that, contrary to common beliefs, rural Ghana has seen major economic transformation, as households increasingly diversify their livelihoods by both increased migration and more local non-farm employment. These diversification decisions seem to be driven to a large extent by desperation rather than new opportunities, in particular with regard to migration. Low-income households increase their income share in particular from local non-farm activities through more participation while returns to diversifying activities stagnate or even decrease. Therefore households with a low non-labour asset-base are increasingly diversified and poor. In contrast, asset-rich households are more successful at either diversifying or specialising in those activities the household is relatively good at. They also tend to benefit more from agricultural growth.
Income diversification non-agricultural activities remittances migration inequality poverty sub-Saharan Africa Ghana