Households play an important role in youth’s academic achievement. Household assets as part of youth’s family background have been found to have a significant impact on youth’s academic achievement. In this study, the impact of household possessions on youth’s academic achievement in the Ghana YouthSave experiment is investigated. Findings support the hypothesized positive direction of the impact of household possessions on academic achievement of youth. Using propensity score optimal matching and matching estimators, results show youth from households that reported owning at least one of the five household items measured scored almost 1 unit higher on English than their peers from households that do not own any. However, results indicate ownership of household possessions do not have a statistically significant impact on Math scores of youth in the Ghana YouthSave experiment. Although the impact of ownership of household possessions on English scores is consistent across different tests used in this study, the impact of ownership of household possessions on Math scores is less conclusive. Policy implications are discussed.
The paper was presented during the Assets and Education Symposium, a March 2012 conference cosponsored by the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare and CSD. The symposium was convened to explore the role of savings and asset holding in post-secondary educational achievement. Many of the original conference papers are accessible in the center’s online collection and were subsequently developed for publication in Assets and Educational Attainment: Theory and Evidence, a special issue of Economics of Education Review.
Subsequent publication: Chowa, G. A. N., Masa, R. D., Wretman, C., & Ansong, D. (2013). The impact of household possessions on youth’s academic achievement in the Ghana YouthSave experiment: A propensity score analysis. Economics of Education Review, 33, 69–81. doi:10.1016/j.econedurev.2012.08.005