The Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) at Oxford University in collaboration with the Ghana Statistical Office (GSO) has been conducting a labour market panel survey of urban sectors in Ghana since 2004. There are now three waves of this survey covering the period 2004 to 2006. There are two unique features of the Urban Panel Survey (UPS) that are important. First, the UPS provides comparable information, including income data, on both wage employees and the self-employed. All labor force participants in the selected households were to be interviewed. Thus the sample of workers spans the formal and informal sectors, public and private employees, the self-employed, unemployed and so on. The second unique feature of the UPS data set is its panel dimension. During the course of July-August 2005 the initial UPS sample was resurveyed and questions were asked in order to link their activities and earnings in 2005 with the same variables in 2003/04, creating a panel of individual workers. During the period August-October 2006 a further survey was conducted. Thus the UPS constitutes one of very few household panel data sets in sub-Saharan Africa.
The survey was repeated 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. The most recent wave, 2013, is currently being cleaned and will become publicly available at the end of 2014.
The Ghanaian worker-household survey is designed to track a large number of workers and apprentices that are either currently in the manufacturing sector or have been employed in the manufacturing sector in the past. The survey records the skills and education of individuals, their professional career choices and their spending decisions in their private lives. By investigating these different dimensions of an individual’s behaviour, the survey seeks to establish links between the earnings and the spending decisions of individuals. This will enable a greater understanding of the behaviour of individuals in their working lives and the driving forces behind their career choices and subsequent earnings. A key element of this survey is that it attempts to create a profile for each worker by recording information relevant to their labour market movements over the period of their working lives.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Individual age 15 to 60
A substantial amount of cleaning has been carried out on the data but it is essential that any user of the data check the data further.
The scope the of Urban Household Panel Survey includes:
- Employment history
- Career Choices
- Private lives
- Spending decisions
The survey spans the four largest urban centers in Ghana: Accra (and neighboring Tema), Kumasi, Takoradi, and Cape Coast.
Labor force participants, ages 15 to 60, in urban areas.
Producers and sponsors
Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE)
University of Oxford
Ghana Statistical Service (GSO)
Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning
Economic and Social Research Council
Funding the study
Department for International Development
Funding the study
Responsible for setting surveys in the form they currently run
Principal person responsible for the Ghana survey work in 2005 and 2006
The samples were based on a stratified random sample of urban households from the 2000 census in Ghana. A total of 830 individuals were interviewed in the first round of the survey conducted between October 2003 and June 2004. There was a follow-up survey of workers in Ghana's manufacturing firms who had been surveyed from 1995. Thus the Ghana data contains those sampled on the basis of households and those drawn from firms. In using the data it is important to allow for the different basis of the two components of the sample.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
The first round of the survey was carried out in Ghana over the period from October 2003 to early 2004. This survey was initially conducted with a paper questionnaire, but during the course of this survey the paper questionnaire was replaced by one based on a hand-held computer. Thus for the first round of the Ghana survey there is a mixture of paper based data and hand-held computer based answers. This regrettably makes the data rather complex to get into a usable form. However after this initial experiment with hand-held computers was successful, all the other surveys were based on this technology. It is easiest to get a sense of how the initial questionnaire was structured from the paper based form. It is important to remember that most of the data was not collected by this means.
In the first round of the survey recall questions were asked of the individuals to enable us to create a job history of their activities since they left school. This was done in the paper questionnaire by allowing for separate jobs, and in the hand held computer by allowing for as many jobs as the individual wished to identify. The time when jobs were begun and when they ended were also identified.
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
Centre for the study of African Economies and Ghana Statistical Service. Ghana Urban Household Panel Survey (UHPS) 2004. Ref. GHA_2004_UHPS_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from [url] on [date].
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.