Neoliberalism and the Urban Economy in Ghana: Urban Employment, Inequality, and Poverty

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Journal Article
Growth and Change, 2012, 43 (1), pp. 85 - 109
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Ghana is one of a few African countries where more people now reside in cities than in the countryside. What is not as well-known are the changes that have taken place in the economic base of Ghanaian cities. This paper tells that story. It focuses particularly on jobs, incomes, inequality, and poverty, and their characteristics in an era when neoliberal policies have been implemented. It draws on census reports, national surveys, and published reports in order to overcome the dearth of information about the urban and national economies. The paper shows that, on the one hand, the increasing prominence of the private sector in the urban economy has impacted positively on capital formation and job creation. On the other hand, urban and national inequality levels have dramatically increased. Whether these changes are favourable to the majority of urban citizens is contestable. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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