Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The primary objective of this study has been to quantitatively reconstruct a picture of the economic history of Ghana by putting together a set of macroeconomic data to cover the first six and a half decades of the twentieth century and using the data to analyze the sources of economic growth and structural change experience of the economy.;The analysis of the macro-experience of Ghana has shown the almost tripling in real terms in GDP per capita and the change of the economy from a virtual subsistence one around 1900 to an open, growth-oriented system by 1960. Recent experience in Ghana has, however, shown that the apparent attempts at "take-off" were not successful and that the growth process started in the first sixty years could not be sustained. The economy has either stagnated or declined since the mid-1960s and continues to decline. What explains the remarkable growth and structural change in the first half of the century and the reversal of the process thereafter? The approach used in this work to try to answer the above question is to exploit a simple general equilibrium model to decompose, quantitatively, the sources of growth and change.;The main findings of the study are that the structure of the economy changed very little between 1901 and 1950, but rapid changes in structure seem to have taken place after 1955. Secondly, the study shows that changes in the principal factors of production in Ghana (labour, agricultural capital and industrial capital) do provide a reasonable explanation for changes in income and export growth in the earlier decades but that during the last decade and a half of our study, the high levels of capital formation in the modern, industrial sector did not generate the wished for growth or structural transformation of the economy. Finally, contrary to conventional accounts of Ghana's history, the study found changes in technology (or, more generally, changes in the efficiency of input use) and exogenous shifts in demand for exports to have been important in explaining growth and structural change. . . . (Author's abstract exceeds stipulated maximum length. Discontinued here with permission of author.) UMI



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