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Making Trade Policy in a New Democracy after a Deep Crisis: Indonesia


  • Kelly Bird
  • Sandy Cuthbertson
  • Hal Hill



This paper examines the recent political economy of trade policy in Indonesia against the backdrop of two key events: the deep economic crisis of 1997-98, and the transition from three decades of rapid growth under an authoritarian regime to a weaker but democratic state. We investigate both international and domestic trade policy. The international trade policy regime has remained largely open, perhaps surprisingly in view of the unpopularity of liberal economic policies in the wake of the crisis and the forces advocating more protectionist policies. However, this openness is precarious, and lacks both institutional and community opinion support. In contrast, while remaining largely open at the international border, domestic barriers to trade have increased. This conjunction of economic crisis and weak, democratic states is a common phenomenon in the developing world, and the lessons for trade policy from the Indonesian experience over this decade are therefore relevant to many other countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Kelly Bird & Sandy Cuthbertson & Hal Hill, 2007. "Making Trade Policy in a New Democracy after a Deep Crisis: Indonesia," Departmental Working Papers 2007-01, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pas:papers:2007-01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Prema-Chandra Athukorala, 2006. "Post-crisis export performance: The Indonesian experience in regional perspective," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 177-211.
    2. R. William Liddle, 2005. "Year one of the Yudhoyono-Kalla duumvirate," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(3), pages 325-340.
    3. 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.
    4. M. Chatib Basri & Hal Hill, 2004. "Ideas, Interests and Oil Prices: The Political Economy of Trade Reform During Soeharto's Indonesia," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(5), pages 633-655, May.
    5. Prema-chandra Athukorala, 2005. "Product Fragmentation and Trade Patterns in East Asia," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 4(3), pages 1-27, Fall.
    6. Fukunari KIMURA, 2006. "International Production and Distribution Networks in East Asia: Eighteen Facts, Mechanics, and Policy Implications," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 1(2), pages 326-344.
    7. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
    8. Ross Mcleod, 2005. "The struggle to regain effective government under democracy in Indonesia," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(3), pages 367-386.
    9. M. Ryaas Rasyid, 2004. "The Policy of Decentralization in Indonesia," Chapters,in: Reforming Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations and the Rebuilding of Indonesia, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Chris Manning & Kurnya Roesad, 2006. "Survey of recent developments," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 143-170.
    11. Blane Lewis, 2003. "Tax And Charge Creation By Regional Governments Under Fiscal Decentralisation: Estimates And Explanations," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(2), pages 177-192.
    12. Charles E. McLure, Jr. & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 1998. "Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in Vietnam," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper9802, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    13. Tim Lindsey, 2004. "Legal Infrastructure and Governance Reform in Post-Crisis Asia: The case of Indonesia," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 18(1), pages 12-40, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lee, Chien-Chiang & Chen, Mei-Ping & Chang, Chi-Hung, 2013. "Dynamic relationships between industry returns and stock market returns," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 119-144.
    2. Haryo Aswicahyono & Hal Hill & Dionisius Narjoko, 2010. "Industrialisation after a Deep Economic Crisis: Indonesia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(6), pages 1084-1108.
    3. Permani Risti, 2011. "The Impacts of Trade Liberalisation and Technological Change on GDP Growth in Indonesia: A Meta Regression Analysis," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 11(4), pages 1-30, December.
    4. Aswicahyono, Haryo & Bird, Kelly & Hill, Hal, 2009. "Making Economic Policy in Weak, Democratic, Post-crisis States: An Indonesian Case Study," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 354-370, February.

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    Trade Reform; Political Economy; Domestic Trade; Indonesia;

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