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A Tale of Two Crises: Indonesia’s Political Economy


  • Basri, Muhammad Chatib


The global financial crisis caused major economic problems in many countries. Indonesia was obviously affected by this crisis; its export growth declined significantly. Nevertheless, the impact of the crisis on the Indonesian economy was relatively limited compared to other countries in the region, including Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. This situation leads to the question of why was the impact of the global crisis on the Indonesian economy relatively limited? This was, after all, not the first time that Indonesia had experienced a financial crisis. In 1998, the Asian financial crisis had a very bad effect on Indonesia. An interesting question to ask is why the effects of the 2008 global financial crisis, which in terms of magnitude was much larger than the 1998 crisis, were relatively limited? This paper argues there are, at least, four differences between the 1998 crisis and the 2008 crisis: the origin of the crisis, the exchange rate regime, policy responses and the overall political economy situation. In addition, this paper argues that the structure of trade played an important role in the 2008 crisis. Indonesia survived the global financial crisis thanks to two factors: good policy and good luck. While highlighting these factors, this paper focuses primarily on the role of Indonesia’s domestic political economy during these two crises. Lest it leaves an unduly optimistic picture of Indonesia’s economic future, the paper closes with an assessment of several major hurdles that Indonesia must deal with in the coming years.

Suggested Citation

  • Basri, Muhammad Chatib, 2013. "A Tale of Two Crises: Indonesia’s Political Economy," Working Papers 57, JICA Research Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:jic:wpaper:57

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. M. Chatib BASRI & Hal HILL, 2011. "Indonesian Growth Dynamics," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 6(1), pages 90-107, June.
    2. Muhammad Chatib Basri & Reza Yamora Siregar, 2009. "Navigating Policy Responses at the National Level in the Midst of the Global Financial Crisis: The Experience of Indonesia," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 8(3), pages 1-35, Fall.
    3. Simon Butt, 2009. "'Unlawfulness' and corruption under Indonesian law," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(2), pages 179-198.
    4. Hal Hill, 2000. "Indonesia: The Strange and Sudden Death of a Tiger Economy," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(2), pages 117-139.
    5. Hadi Soesastro & M. Chatib Basri, 2005. "The political economy of trade policy in Indonesia," CSIS Economics Working Paper Series WPE092, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta, Indonesia.
    6. World Bank, 2011. "Indonesia," World Bank Other Operational Studies 22421, The World Bank.
    7. M. Chatib Basri & Arianto Patunru, 2006. "Survey Of Recent Developments," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(3), pages 295-319.
    8. Wing Thye Woo & Chang Hong, 2010. "Indonesia's economic performance in comparative perspective and a new policy framework for 2049," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(1), pages 33-64.
    9. Chris Manning & Kurnya Roesad, 2006. "Survey of recent developments," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 143-170.
    10. H. Aswicahyono & H. Hill, 2002. "'Perspiration' vs 'Inspiration' in Asian Industrialisation: Indonesia Before the Crisis," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(3), pages 138-163.
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    Indonesia ; Asian Financial Crisis ; Global Financial Crisis;

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