Research Reports

Monetary Policy and Financial Sector Reform For Employment Creation and Poverty Reduction in Ghana

Gerald A. Epstein, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Abstract

This report summarizes the findings of a UNDP-sponsored study on the structure of the financial sector, central bank policy, and employment outcomes in Ghana. The financial sector is the primary conduit through which monetary policy affects real economic outcomes, and monetary policy determines the resources available to financial institutions. Therefore, monetary policy must be coordinated with financial sector reforms in order to improve employment opportunities, reduce poverty and support human development. The report develops a critique of financial programming and inflation targeting, presents a series of empirical estimates on the impact of monetary policy variables in Ghana, and describes the elements of an alternative monetary policy. In addition, the report documents the institutional and structural constraints currently operating in the financial system which prevent the sector from facilitating investment, growth, and improved employment opportunities. Econometric estimates of the determinants of investment explicitly link financial variables to real economic activity. The report summarizes a series of financial sector reforms that would improve the financial sector's capacity to move Ghana onto an employment-intensive growth path.

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