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Causes of Low Secondary School Enrollment in Indonesia


  • Daniel Suryadarma


  • Asep Suryahadi
  • Sudarno Sumarto


In this study we investigate the causes of low secondary school enrollment in Indonesia despite near universal primary school attendance. We then find that attrition during the transition between primary and junior secondary education levels is the main cause. We investigate the causes of attrition using a longitudinal household survey dataset. Firstly, household welfare level is a significant determinant of the low enrollment. Secondly, children from Muslim families have a significantly lower probability of continuing to the secondary level. Thirdly, children in areas with relatively abundant employment opportunities have a higher probability of giving up schooling. Fourthly, girls have a significantly lower chance of continuing. The policy implications of our results point to, among other things, the need for refocusing government education spending and scholarship programs to target those who go missing from the education system after completing primary education.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Suryadarma & Asep Suryahadi & Sudarno Sumarto, 2006. "Causes of Low Secondary School Enrollment in Indonesia," Labor Economics Working Papers 22546, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:laborw:22546

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2003. "Socioeconomic Status and Child Health: Why Is the Relationship Stronger for Older Children?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1813-1823, December.
    2. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
    3. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
    4. West, Patrick, 1997. "Health inequalities in the early years: Is there equalisation in youth?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 833-858, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ariane Utomo & Anna Reimondos & Iwu Utomo & Peter McDonald & Terence H. Hull, 2014. "What happens after you drop out? Transition to adulthood among early school-leavers in urban Indonesia," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(41), pages 1189-1218, April.
    2. Sumarto, Sudarno & Bazzi, Samuel, 2011. "Social Protection in Indonesia:Past Experiences and Lessons for the Future," MPRA Paper 57893, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Elisabetta Magnani & Garima Verma & Anu Rammohan, 2012. "Intra-household Competition for Care: The Role of Bequest-regulating Social Norms," Working Papers 201206, ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales.

    More about this item


    education; determinants; secondary school; enrollment; Indonesia;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion


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