Most cross-cultural research of demand behavior is focused at cross-country studies. For Sub-Saharan Africa, however, the fact that the borders were more or less arbitrarily drawn by the colonial powers suggests that demand behavior - including the demand for education - in this context are more affected by within country factors such as ethnicity, geographical location and religion. On this premise, we analyze the demand for education in Ghana from a cross-cultural perspective. A substantial share of Ghanaian youth and young adults has never attended school. As education is an important vehicle for economic development this is (or should be) a point of concern to both the national government and international development organizations. On this background, this study analyzes the demand for education in Ghana to try to understand the main factors underlying this. The focus is on cross-cultural, that is non-economic, factors such as religious background, ethnicity and gender. These factors are found to be important, even if controlling for economic conditions. The policy implication is that not only economic factors should be considered when developing future educational policies and programs; cross-cultural factors should have a prominent role, as well.
Ninth Crosscultural Research Conference (cd-rom), 2003