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Indonesia's Moratorium on Palm Oil Expansion from Natural Forests: Economy-Wide Impacts and the Role of International Transfers


  • Arief A. Yusuf

    (Professor, Center for Sustainable Development Goals Studies, Universitas Padjadjaran. Author email:

  • Elizabeth L. Roos

    (Senior Research Fellow, Victoria University. Author email:

  • Jonathan M. Horridge

    (Professor, Victoria University. Author email:


Indonesia has introduced a moratorium on the conversion of natural forests to land used for palm oil production. Using a dynamic, bottom-up, interregional computable general equilibrium model of the Indonesian economy, we assess several scenarios of the moratorium and discuss its impacts on the domestic economy as well as on regional economies within Indonesia. We find the moratorium reduces Indonesian economic growth and other macroeconomic indicators, but international transfers can more than compensate the welfare losses. The impacts also vary across regions. Sumatra, which is highly dependent on palm oil and is home to forests that no longer have a high carbon stock, receives fewer transfers and suffers the greatest economic loss. Kalimantan, which is relatively less dependent on palm oil and has forests with a relatively high carbon stock, receives more transfers and gets greater benefit. This implies that additional policy measures anticipating the unbalanced impacts of the moratorium are required if the trade-off between conservation and reducing interregional economic disparity is to be reconciled.

Suggested Citation

  • Arief A. Yusuf & Elizabeth L. Roos & Jonathan M. Horridge, 2018. "Indonesia's Moratorium on Palm Oil Expansion from Natural Forests: Economy-Wide Impacts and the Role of International Transfers," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 35(2), pages 85-112, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:adbadr:v:35:y:2018:i:2:p:85-112

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bellassen, Valentin & Gitz, Vincent, 2008. "Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in Cameroon -- Assessing costs and benefits," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 336-344, December.
    2. Richard Dutu, 2015. "Making the Most of Natural Resources in Indonesia," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1236, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Malahayati, Marissa & Masui, Toshihiko, 2019. "The impact of green house gas mitigation policy for land use and the forestry sector in Indonesia: Applying the computable general equilibrium model," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C).
    2. Purnomo, Herry & Okarda, Beni & Dermawan, Ahmad & Ilham, Qori Pebrial & Pacheco, Pablo & Nurfatriani, Fitri & Suhendang, Endang, 2020. "Reconciling oil palm economic development and environmental conservation in Indonesia: A value chain dynamic approach," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C).

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    More about this item


    carbon emissions; computable general equilibrium; Indonesia; palm oil;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies


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