Journal of African Studies and Development
Subscribe to JASD
Full Name*
Email Address*

Article Number - A5BF32663655


Vol.9(3), pp. 15-22 , April 2017
DOI: 10.5897/JASD2016.0428
ISSN: 2141-2189



Full Length Research Paper

Enhancing the middle class as a development resource in Africa: Insights from Northern Ghana



Vincent Amanor-Boadu*
  • Vincent Amanor-Boadu*
  • Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, 306 Waters Hall, United States.
  • Google Scholar
Kara Ross
  • Kara Ross
  • Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, 306 Waters Hall, United States.
  • Google Scholar
Yacob Zereyesus
  • Yacob Zereyesus
  • Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, 306 Waters Hall, United States.
  • Google Scholar







 Received: 15 December 2016  Accepted: 08 March 2017  Published: 30 April 2017

Copyright © 2017 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0


One indicator of national economic progress is middle class expansion. While recent studies show an increasing sub-Saharan African middle class, there is no clear empirical appreciation of the factors driving this and how they may be sustained. This study uses data from Northern Ghana and a logistic regression model to identify the factors determining the probability of being in the middle class to provide public and private policy support. The study evaluated two alternative middle class definitions, Kharas and Getz’s and African Development Bank’s, and found that although definitions matter, the signs on the influencing variables were similar. Our results showed that education, locale and household size significantly influenced the odds of being in the middle class. For example, urban households with educated heads have a higher probability of being in the middle class than rural households with uneducated heads. Additionally, increasing household size has an adverse effect on the probability of being in the middle class. The results direct public and private policy focus on improving education and literacy programs, building infrastructure and controlling household sizes to support middle class expansion in Northern Ghana. 

Key words: Middle class, Africa, Ghana, poverty, education, economic development, infrastructure.

Acemoglu D, Zilibotti F (1997). Was Prometheus Unbound by Chance? J. Polit. Econ. 105(4):709-751.
Crossref

 

Banerjee AV, Duflo E (2008). What is Middle Class about the Middle Classes around the World? J. Econ. Perspect. 22(2):3-28.
Crossref

 

Behrends A, Lentz CB (2012). Education, careers, and home ties: The ethnography of an emerging middle class from Northern Ghana. Zeitschrift fur Ethnologie, 137:139-164. 

View

 

Bhalla S (2007). Second among Equals: The Middle Class Kingdoms of India and China. Unpublished manuscript, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC.

 

Birdsall N, Graham C, Pettinato S (2000). Stuck in Tunnel: Is Globalization Muddling the Middle? Working Washington, DC: Brookings Institution. P 14.

 

Decomez SS (1998). An Empirical Analysis of the American Middle Class (1968-1992), Ph.D. Dissertation, Vanderbilt University

 

Eisenhauer JG (2008). An Economic Definition of the Middle Class, Forum. Soc. Econ. 37(2):103-113. 

 

Faiz A (2012). The Promise of Rural Roads: Review of the Role of Low-Volume Roads in Rural Connectivity, Poverty Reduction, Crisis Management, and Livability, Washington, D.C.: Transportation Research Board,
Crossref

 

Feed the Future. Volume 6: Measuring the Gender Impact of FTF. M&E Guidance Series, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government, March 2014. 

View

 

Ghana Statistical Service. (2014). Population and Housing Census: Summary Report of Final Results. Accra, Ghana: Sakoa Press Ltd., 2012.

 

Government of Ghana (GOG) and UN Development Program (UNDP) (2015). 2010 Ghana Millennium Development Goals Report, Accra, Ghana: UNDP Ghana and NDPC/GOG.

 

Kharas H, Gertz J (2010). The New Global Middle Class: A Cross-Over from West to East, in China's Emerging Middle Class: Beyond Economic Transformation" Cheng Li (Ed.), Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press. Pp. 32-54.

 

.Landes D (1998). The Wealth and Poverty of Nations. New York, NY: Norton.

 

Levin KM (2009). Access to Education in Sub‐Saharan Africa: Patterns, Problems and Possibilities, Comparative Education, 45(2):151-174. 
Crossref

 

Mahbub R (2015). From gender-not-an-issue to gender is the issue: the educational and migrational pathways of middle-class women moving from urban Bangladesh to Britain, Gend. Educ. 27:871-886.
Crossref

 

Milanovic B, Yitzhaki. S (2002). Decomposing World Income Distribution: Does the World Have a Middle Class. Rev Income Wealth 48(2):155-178. 
Crossref

 

Molini V, Paci P (2015). Poverty Reduction in Ghana : Progress and Challenges. Washington, D.C.: World Bank,. 

 

Murphy K, Schleifer A, Vishny R (1989). Industrialization and the Big Push, J. Polit. Econ. 97(5):1003-1026.
Crossref

 

Ncube M, Lufumpa CL, Kayizzi-Mugerwa S (2011).The Middle of the Pyramid: Dynamics of the Middle Class in Africa. African Development Bank, Market Brief, April 20.

 

Song J, Cavusgil E, Li J, Luo R (2016). Social Stratification and Mobility among Chinese Middle Class Households: An Empirical Investigation, Int. Bus. Rev. 25:646-656. 

 

Vera-Diaz M Del C, Kaufmann RK, Nepstad D (2009). The Environmental Impacts of Soybean Expansion and Infrastructure Development in Brazil's Amazon Basin, Tuft University: Global Development and Environment Institute, Pp. 09-05

 

World Bank (2016). PPP Conversion Factor, Private Consumption (LCU per International $), International Comparison Program Database, 

View

 


APA Amanor-Boadu, V., Ross, K., & Zereyesus, Y. (2017). Enhancing the middle class as a development resource in Africa: Insights from Northern Ghana. Journal of African Studies and Development, 9(3), 15-22.
Chicago Vincent Amanor-Boadu, Kara Ross and Yacob Zereyesus. "Enhancing the middle class as a development resource in Africa: Insights from Northern Ghana." Journal of African Studies and Development 9, no. 3 (2017): 15-22.
MLA Vincent Amanor-Boadu, Kara Ross and Yacob Zereyesus. "Enhancing the middle class as a development resource in Africa: Insights from Northern Ghana." Journal of African Studies and Development 9.3 (2017): 15-22.
   
DOI 10.5897/JASD2016.0428
URL http://academicjournals.org/journal/JASD/article-abstract/A5BF32663655

Subscription Form