Revisiting the Relationship Between Information and Communication Technologies and Employment Growth in Ghana: Role of Formality Status


The employment effect of information and communication technologies has been a key concern of public policy. Our understanding of the ICT-employment growth relationship in both informal and formal sectors in developing countries, however, remains limited. Based on repeated cross-sectional data collected in 2013 and 2015 on 483 Ghanaian manufacturing, this paper shows that access to the internet leads to employment growth in enterprises, while the adoption of mobile phone technologies reduces the number of workers in enterprises. The positive effect of internet access on employment growth tends to be greater in enterprises with a higher degree of formality, while informal enterprises appear to remain small in terms of employment by using internet technology. The paper contributes to the literature by analysing the employment effects of ICT in low-income countries, especially in the informal versus the formal sectors, and their relevance for digital technology policy in developing countries. 

Working Paper