Union ‘facilitation effect’ and access to non-wage benefits in the Ghanaian labour market

Nkechi S. Owoo, Monica Puoma Lambon-Quayefio, Jorge Dávalos, Samuel B. Manu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a journalpeer-review


Effective access to mandatory non-wage benefits is key to workers achieving decent working conditions. This paper investigates the effects of union presence on workers’ access to non-wage benefits in the Ghanaian labor market. The study draws its data from the 2012–2013 Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS 6) and specifies a multivariate model that simultaneously controls for endogeneity and potential sample-selection biases. We find that unions have a significant effect on facilitation among workers by improving awareness of and access to work benefits. Other factors that affect benefit entitlements in Ghana include the gender of a worker, urbanization, firm size, sector formality, public v.s. private sector jobs, type of occupation, and the presence of work contracts amongst others. Results presented here indicate that workers from formal-sector firms with union presence are more likely to have access to non-wage benefits. It is also found that despite the statutory nature of these non-wage benefits, non-compliance was common, predominantly in the informal sector but also in the formal sector. This is particularly the case with respect to maternity leave benefits and indicates a need for greater enforcement of these laws.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-255
Number of pages16
JournalOxford Development Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Oxford Department of International Development.


  • Non-wage benefits
  • labour markets
  • sample-selection
  • structural equation modelling
  • unions


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