Religion and Human Capital in Ghana

Niels-Hugo Blunch, Washington and Lee University

This paper examines the religion-human capital link, examining a recent household survey for Ghana. Insights from the literature leads to a prediction of Islam being associated with lower human capital levels than Christianity, since that may be clustered within the group of orally based religions. While previous studies typically have only considered the main religions, thereby not allowing for heterogeneous associations in the links at the sub-group level, and also have not allowed religious affiliation to be endogenously determined, these possibilities are explored here. I find a strong association between individual religious affiliation and human capital as measured by years of schooling, with Christians as a group being more literate and having completed more years of schooling than both Muslims and Animists / Traditionalists. At the same time, there is substantial heterogeneity in the strength of this relationship within different types of Christianity. Directions for future research are also presented.

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Presented in Session 80: Religion and Human Capital