Theoretical and empirical evidence suggest that asset ownership positively affects academic achievement. However, fewer studies, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa have investigated whether the effect of asset ownership differs based on the type of asset and academic subject. We examine the associations between asset type and academic achievement among Ghanaian junior high school students. Results suggest that the positive relationship between asset ownership and academic achievement depends on the type of asset and the academic subject. Homeownership is positively and significantly associated with math achievement. Mode of transportation (e.g., motorcycle, bicycle, cars, and trucks) ownership is positively and significantly associated with English achievement. The associations between other types of assets and math and English grades, although positive, are not statistically significant. Other significant predictors of academic achievement include male gender, commitment to school, academic expectations, and parent’s employment type.
Our findings have important implications for programs and efforts to promote academic proficiency and progress for all youth. Allowing and helping families to own and accumulate assets may start to level the playing field for all youth so they can maximize their human capital potential.
This paper is under peer review, and publication information will be provided when it is available.
Chowa, G. A. N., & Masa, R. D. (2013). Asset ownership and academic achievement among youth in Ghana: Examining associations based on asset type and academic subject (CSD Working Paper No. 13-25). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.