Direct Elections and Trust in State and Political Institutions: Evidence from Indonesia’s Election Reform

People’s trust in state and political institutions is a key foundation of a well-functioning economy. We estimate the impact of direct elections on people’s trust in state and political institutions, using a major political reform in Indonesia as the source of exogenous variation. Prior to 2005, regents, mayors, and governors were elected by the local legislative assembly. Since 2005, however, they have had to compete in an open election where voters directly choose their preferred leader.





The research revisits and updates the current Indonesia’s Youth Development Index to strengthen its role in underlying policies, programs, and directions for youth-related issues in Indonesia over the next five years.

Youth, Entrepreneurship, and Digitalization




This project aims to develop policy guidance and recommendations for investment action plans in support of youth, entrepreneurship, and digitalization in Indonesia.





This project aims to enhance the capacity of local governments to achieve a harmonious energy transition in line with the national strategy within the framework of inclusive economic development.

Improving Data Availability and Comprehensiveness to Support Digital Transformation

This publication is only available in Indonesian

The Impact of Village Funds on Rural Welfare in Indonesia: A Regression Discontinuity in Time (RDiT) and Difference-in-Difference (DiD) Approach

This study examines the impact of village fund (VF) transfers on rural welfare in Indonesia. We use the monthly night-time light (NTL) dataset as a proxy for rural welfare for around 75,000 villages from 2014 to 2019. Using Regression Discontinuity in Time (RDiT), we find that VF positively impacts rural welfare, as the value of Average Light Intensity (ALI) increases by almost 97% after the implementation of VF. The highest influence of VF transfers is revealed to be in underdeveloped villages.

Indonesia’s Technology Startups: Voices from the Ecosystem

Tech startups require an ecosystem of support that differs from the assistance provided to traditional small enterprises. The ecosystem should comprise not only dedicated government policies and programs, but also financing solutions, support from incubator and accelerator programs, and talent development (human resources) versed in technological innovation, but also in inventing new business models. The ecosystem includes public, private, and quasi-public players. Building this ecosystem is critical to developing a vibrant community of tech startups.





This study assess the scarring impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on investments (physical capital) and human capital demand in the labor market.

Estimating the Impact of COVID-19 on Poverty in Indonesia

Covid-19 has infected and will continue to infect millions of people all over the world. The economic impact is predicted to be large and millions of people will be pushed into poverty. In this paper, we estimate the impact of Covid-19 on poverty in Indonesia. The economic impact is expected to be severe, reducing the economic growth rate projected for 2020 from about 5% to between 4.2% and –3.5%. We find that under the best-case scenario, the poverty rate will increase from 9.2% in September 2019 to 9.7% by the end of 2020, pushing 1.3 million more people into poverty.

Do Short-Term Unconditional Cash Transfers Change Behaviour and Preferences? Evidence from Indonesia

Short-term unconditional cash transfers are used as a temporary mitigation strategy during adverse economic shocks. They can however, cause adverse unintended impacts on behaviour and preferences. We estimate the effect of receiving short-term unconditional cash transfers on behaviour, risk aversion, and intertemporal choice in Indonesia. The country first introduced the program in 2005 and continues to use it whenever adverse economic shocks occur. With 15.5 million beneficiary households, the program remains one of the largest in the world.

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