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A growing pain: an experimental approach to discover the most acceptable strategy for lifting fuel subsidy scheme in Indonesia


  • Pradiptyo, Rimawan
  • Sahadewo, Gumilang Aryo


Fuel subsidy has been the biggest quandaries in Indonesian economy, as it has been creating a huge opportunity costs to the economy. The subsidy is implemented to a consumer good (i.e. fuels) as oppose to targeted recipients, creating distortion in the efficient resource allocation. It was estimated about 70% of the subsidy were received by 40% of top income households (World Bank, 2007). Although the budget plan for the subsidy in 2011 was Rp129.7 trillion or 10% of the GoI annual budget, the actual subsidy was Rp160.7 trillion (13.3% of the GoI annual budget). Indeed, no individual prefers to lose the subsidy that has been received for many years, however the Government of Indonesia (GoI) cannot maintain the subsidy policy on fuel price any longer without creating extra budgetary burden. This study use experimental approach to seek the most acceptable exit strategy of eliminating fuel subsidy scheme in Indonesia based on households’ perspective. 335 subjects participated in the experiment, ranging from those who do not own motor vehicle, those who have motor cycle(s) and those who have car(s). During the experiment, subjects were given several pair-wise choices and chose the most acceptable policy from each pair-wise policy choices. The results show that the combination of gradual elimination and earmarked reallocation scheme were the most desirable. Subject with very low and low-income background tend to be more receptive for sudden elimination of the subsidy in comparison to their counterpart from medium and high-income backgrounds.

Suggested Citation

  • Pradiptyo, Rimawan & Sahadewo, Gumilang Aryo, 2012. "A growing pain: an experimental approach to discover the most acceptable strategy for lifting fuel subsidy scheme in Indonesia," MPRA Paper 37073, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:37073

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jack L. Knetsch & J. A. Sinden, 1984. "Willingness to Pay and Compensation Demanded: Experimental Evidence of an Unexpected Disparity in Measures of Value," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(3), pages 507-521.
    2. Arze del Granado, Francisco Javier & Coady, David & Gillingham, Robert, 2012. "The Unequal Benefits of Fuel Subsidies: A Review of Evidence for Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(11), pages 2234-2248.
    3. Nwachukwu, Maxwell Umunna & Chike, Harold, 2011. "Fuel subsidy in Nigeria: Fact or fallacy," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 2796-2801.
    4. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    5. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-1348, December.
    6. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pradiptyo, Rimawan & Sahadewo, Gumilang Aryo, 2012. "On The Complexity of Eliminating Fuel Subsidy in Indonesia; A Behavioral Approach," MPRA Paper 40045, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Fuel subsidy; experimental economics; analytical hierarchy process (AHP); preference relation; reallocation of resources;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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