Protecting Education for the Poor in Times of Crisis: An Evaluation of a Scholarship Program in Indonesia


This paper analyzes the impact of an Indonesian scholarship program, which was implemented to preserve access to education for the poor during the Southeast Asian economic crisis. Allocation followed a decentralized design that involved both geographic and individual targeting. The identification strategy exploits this decentralised structure, relying on instrumental variables constructed from regional miss-tergeting at the initial phase of allocation. The results show that allocation of scholarships was pro-poor, but with substantial leakage to the non-poor. The program has been sucessful in increasing enrolment, especially for primary school aged children from poor rural households. Moreover, the scholarships seem to have assisted households in smooting consumption during the crisis, relieving pressure on households' investments in education and utilization of child labour.

JEL Classification: I28, J22, O15

Keywords: Social safety net, program evaluation, education, child labour, Asian economic crisis

Share it