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The Road to Pro-Poor Growth: The Indonesian Experience in Regional Perspective


  • Peter Timmer



“Pro-poor growth” is the new mantra of the development community. Most donor agencies have active research programs underway to understand the pro-poor process, and the World Bank, with British, French and German bilateral support, is already studying how to operationalize the concept (USAID, 2004; World Bank, 2004). Definitions vary, but they all revolve around connecting the poor to rapid economic growth so there is a concomitant rapid reduction in poverty. What is new is the focus on economic growth as the primary vehicle for sustainable reductions in poverty, distributional initiatives and processes playing a secondary role. This exploratory essay, commissioned by the Indonesia Project at Australian National University (ANU), places this new interest in pro-poor growth in regional perspective and then attempts to draw historical and policy lessons for Indonesia.1 The main challenge is to link our relatively robust understanding of the growth process with much more limited understanding of distribution processes. A panel data set of eight Asian countries provides grist for the empirical mill. A revised version of this paper is forthcoming in the Bulletin of Indonesia Economic Studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Timmer, 2004. "The Road to Pro-Poor Growth: The Indonesian Experience in Regional Perspective," Working Papers 38, Center for Global Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:38

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Leigh, Andrew & van der Eng, Pierre, 2009. "Inequality in Indonesia: What can we learn from top incomes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 209-212, February.
    2. Axelsson, Tobias & Palacio, Andrés, 2017. "Transforming Indonesia: Structural change in a regional perspective 1968-2010," Lund Papers in Economic History 164, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    3. Andy Sumner & Peter Edward, 2013. "From Low Income, High Poverty to High-Income, No Poverty? An Optimistic View of the Long-Run Evolution of Poverty in Indonesia By International Poverty Lines, 1984–2030," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS) 201310, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised Jun 2013.
    4. Sumarto, Sudarno & de Silva, Indunil, 2013. "Poverty-growth-Inequality Triangle: The Case of Indonesia," MPRA Paper 57135, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Bardhan, Pranab, 2006. "Globalization and rural poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1393-1404, August.
    6. Asian Development Bank Institute, 2017. "Eradicating Poverty and Promoting Prosperity in a Changing Asia-Pacific," Working Papers id:11706, eSocialSciences.
    7. Indunil De Silva & Sudarno Sumarto, 2015. "Dynamics Of Growth, Poverty And Human Capital: Evidence From Indonesian Sub-National Data," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 40(2), pages 1-33, June.
    8. Rashid, Shahidur & Cummings, Ralph Jr. & Gulati, Ashok, 2005. "Grain marketing parastatals in Asia," MTID discussion papers 80, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Pranab Bardhan, 2006. "Globalization, Inequality, and Poverty," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 9126, Inter-American Development Bank.
    10. Pranab Bardhan, 2006. "Globalization, Inequality, and Poverty," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 2329, Inter-American Development Bank.
    11. Foldvari, Peter & van Leeuwen, Bas & Marks, Daan & Gall, Jozsef, 2013. "Indonesian regional welfare development, 1900–1990: New anthropometric evidence," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 78-89.
    12. Bas van Leeuwen & Peter Foldvari, 2012. "The development of inequality and poverty in Indonesia, 1932-1999," Working Papers 0026, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
    13. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2005. "Economic Rights, Human Development Effort and Institutions," Working papers 2005-40, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    14. Tomokazu Arita & Chie Iguchi & Philip McCann, 2011. "Foreign Direct Investment, Knowledge Assets and the Economic Geography of Growth in the Asian BRIICS Countries," Chapters,in: Endogenous Regional Development, chapter 9 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    15. Sumarto, Sudarno & De Silva, Indunil, 2014. "Being Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Dynamics of Indonesian Subnational Growth and Poverty," MPRA Paper 57824, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. C. Timmer Peter, 2017. "Working Paper 259 - Structural Transformation and Food Security: Their Mutual Interdependence," Working Paper Series 2370, African Development Bank.
    17. Saleem, Zahabia & Donaldson, John A., 2016. "Pathways to poverty reduction," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 67523, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item


    Indonesia; pro-poor growth; economic growth; distribution process;

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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