n Ghanaian Journal of Economics - Determinants of poverty among male-headed and female-headed households in Ghana

Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2309-8945



Ghana has made significant progress with the reduction of poverty over the last two decades. Headcount poverty declined from 51.9% in 1991/92 to 39.5% in 1998/99 and to 28.5% in 2005/06. Nonetheless, the extent to which poverty declined varied across the country and amongst different population groups. Analysis of poverty trends in Ghana shows that poverty incidence among Male Headed Households (MHHs) is higher than Female Headed Households (FHHs), which is contrary to the "feminization of poverty" hypothesis. Moreover FHH and MHH have experienced differential rates of decline in poverty incidence over the past two decades. This paper examines empirically the factors that determine poverty among male-headed and female headed households as well as those that explain the gap in the poverty incidence between the two groups using a logistic regression model and a two-fold Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition technique respectively. Results indicate that factors that determine poverty among male-headed and female-headed households are similar but differ in terms of their effects. The two-fold Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition reveals that 61.7% of the poverty incidence gap is explained by differences in socioeconomic characteristics of male-headed and female-headed households whilst 38.3% is unexplained by these characteristics. The policy implications are discussed.

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