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Moonlighting to survive in a pandemic: multiple motives and gender differences in Ghana

Richard K. Asravor (Department of Economics, Ghana Communication Technology University, Accra, Ghana)

International Journal of Development Issues

ISSN: 1446-8956

Article publication date: 7 January 2021

Issue publication date: 6 July 2021




Moonlighting is on the ascendancy among the urban populace of Ghana, especially, during the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) period. This paper aims to investigate the motives and determinants of moonlighting in Urban Ghana.


This study used data from a semi-structured questionnaire administered during the COVID-19 period in Ghana. Data on the motivation for moonlighting was analysed using descriptive statistics whilst the logit regression model was used to analyse the determinants for moonlighting.


The findings show that men moonlight more than women in Ghana. Despite this, there are no substantive differences in the motives and determining factors influencing men and women moonlighting in Ghana. The findings indicate that moonlighting is used by both sexes to deal with the financial difficulties faced because of lower earnings from their primary occupation due to the COVID-pandemic. Aside from financial difficulty which was viewed as the most important reason for moonlighting by both sexes, men view being secure in their primary job as the 2nd most important motivational factor contrary to women who view lowering the risk of primary job loss as the 2nd most important motivational factor. The impacts of the COVID-19, the log of primary income and marriage are push factors to moonlight whilst having household members who are working and higher levels of education are pulled factors to moonlight in Ghana in the COVID-19 period.


With the current harsh economic conditions that COVID-19 has placed on families in urban areas and the urgent need for multiple jobs as a risk coping mechanism, little empirical work has been done on the role moonlighting plays as a catalyst or otherwise. This paper fills this gap by examining how gender difference affects moonlighting in Ghana in this COVID-19 period.



Asravor, R.K. (2021), "Moonlighting to survive in a pandemic: multiple motives and gender differences in Ghana", International Journal of Development Issues, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 243-257.



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