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The Distributional Impacts of Indonesia's Financial Crisis on Household Welfare: A "Rapid Response" Methodology

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  • Jed Friedman
  • James Levinsohn

Abstract

Analyzing the distributional impacts of economic crises is important and, unfortunately, an ever more pressing need. If policymakers are to intervene to help those most adversely impacted, then policymakers need to identify those who have been most harmed and the magnitude of that harm. Furthermore, policy responses to economic crises typically must be timely. In this paper, we develop a simple methodology to fill the order and we've applied our methodology to analyze the impact of the Indonesian economic crisis on household welfare there. Using only pre-crisis household information, we estimate the compensating variation for Indonesian households following the 1997 Asian currency crisis and then explore the results with flexible non-parametric methods. We find that virtually every household was severely impacted, although it was the urban poor that fared the worst. The ability of poor rural households to produce food mitigated the worst consequences of the high inflation. The distributional consequences are the same whether we allow households to substitute towards relatively cheaper goods or not. However the geographic location of the household mattered even within urban or rural areas and household income categories. Additionally, households with young children may have suffered disproportionately adverse effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Jed Friedman & James Levinsohn, 2001. "The Distributional Impacts of Indonesia's Financial Crisis on Household Welfare: A "Rapid Response" Methodology," NBER Working Papers 8564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8564
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    1. Chaudhuri, Shubham & Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "How well do static indicators identify the chronically poor?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 367-394, March.
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    5. repec:fth:michin:446 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. James A. Levinsohn & Steven T. Berry & Jed Friedman, 2003. "Impacts of the Indonesian Economic Crisis.Price Changes and the Poor," NBER Chapters,in: Managing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets, pages 393-428 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Ravallion, Martin & Bidani, Benu, 1994. "How Robust Is a Poverty Profile?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(1), pages 75-102, January.
    8. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1998. "Economies of Scale, Household Size, and the Demand for Food," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 897-930, October.
    9. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762, August.
    10. Case, Anne C, 1991. "Spatial Patterns in Household Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 953-965, July.
    11. Thomas, Duncan & Beegle, Kathleen & Frankenberg, Elizabeth & Sikoki, Bondan & Strauss, John & Teruel, Graciela, 2004. "Education in a crisis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 53-85, June.
    12. Frankenberg, E. & Thomas, D. & Beegle, K., 1999. "The Real Costs of Indonesia's Economic Crisis: Preliminary Findings from the Indonesia Family Life Surveys," Papers 99-04, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
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