IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Sources of spatial welfare disparities in Indonesia: Household endowments or returns?


  • Skoufias, Emmanuel
  • Olivieri, Sergio


This article investigates (i) the extent to which the differences in the standard of living among districts in Indonesia are due to differences in the marginal welfare gains (returns) associated with household mobile endowments or differences in household endowments themselves; and (ii) whether the current allocation of fiscal expenditures by the central authorities is related to the main determinants of the spatial disparities in welfare among districts. Differences in the returns to household mobile characteristics are found to be the primary explanation of the welfare differences. The allocation of fiscal transfers to districts is found to be based on “needs” defined as low returns to household mobile endowments. This also suggests that the design of the fiscal transfer system is consistent with promoting the opportunities for welfare across districts as opposed to equalizing the level of welfare itself. Finally, the marginal welfare gains of most household mobile endowments are found to be higher in districts with more roads.

Suggested Citation

  • Skoufias, Emmanuel & Olivieri, Sergio, 2013. "Sources of spatial welfare disparities in Indonesia: Household endowments or returns?," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 62-79.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:asieco:v:29:y:2013:i:c:p:62-79 DOI: 10.1016/j.asieco.2013.08.004

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jaime Saavedra-Chanduví & José R. Molinas & Ricardo Paes de Barros & Francisco H. G. Ferreira, 2009. "Measuring Inequality of Opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 361.
    2. Anthony J. Venables, 2005. "Spatial disparities in developing countries: cities, regions, and international trade," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 3-21, January.
    3. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Narayan, Ambar & Dasgupta, Basab & Kaiser, Kai, 2011. "Electoral accountability, fiscal decentralization and service delivery in Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5614, The World Bank.
    4. Krugman, Paul, 1998. "What's New about the New Economic Geography?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 7-17, Summer.
    5. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    6. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
    7. McCulloch, Neil & Sjahrir, Bambang Suharnoko, 2008. "Endowments, location or luck ? evaluating the determinants of sub-national growth in decentralized Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4769, The World Bank.
    8. Emmanuel Skoufias & Roy S. Katayama, 2011. "Sources of welfare disparities between and within regions of Brazil: evidence from the 2002--2003 household budget survey (POF)," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(5), pages 897-918, September.
    9. Ravi Kanbur & Hillel Rapoport, 2005. "Migration selectivity and the evolution of spatial inequality," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 43-57, January.
    10. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    11. Angus Deaton & Salman Zaidi, 2002. "Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates for Welfare Analysis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14101.
    12. repec:idb:brikps:60098 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1987. "Welfare ratios and distributionally sensitive cost-benefit analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 265-290, December.
    14. World Bank, 2003. "Decentralizing Indonesia : A Regional Public Expenditure Review Overview Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14632, The World Bank.
    15. Cut Dian R.D. Agustina & Wolfgang Fengler & Günther G. Schulze, 2012. "The regional effects of Indonesia's oil and gas policy: options for reform," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(3), pages 369-397, December.
    16. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 1997. "Poor areas, or only poor people?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1798, The World Bank.
    17. Gordon B. Dahl, 2002. "Mobility and the Return to Education: Testing a Roy Model with Multiple Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2367-2420, November.
    18. Pitt, Mark M & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Gibbons, Donna M, 1993. "The Determinants and Consequences of the Placement of Government Programs in Indonesia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 7(3), pages 319-348, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Indonesia; Geographic disparities; Welfare; Fiscal expenditures;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:asieco:v:29:y:2013:i:c:p:62-79. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.