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Can Indonesia’s Fiscal Policy be Sustained, with Exploding Debt?

Author

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  • Tari Lestari

    () (Directorate of State Finance and Monetary Analysis (BAPPENAS))

Abstract

The debate over debt issues always becomes hot potatoes to be discussed. Recent data in debt position which accounted for 1.977,71 trillion IDR onDecember31st2012 has made a thousand eyes looking at The Central Government and questioning whether Indonesia should continue to rely on debt for development financing, and whether its debt level is dangerous for fiscal sustainability or not. This paper analyzes debt sustainability by using Natural Debt Limit (NDL) approach introduced by Mendoza-Oveido. In order to examine how the Indonesian government reacts to changes in its debt position, this paper estimates fiscal reaction functions using an econometric approach, namely Vector Error Correction Model (VECM). The result shows that: (i) natural debt limit for Indonesia is 32,3% over GDP; (ii) since 1992 the central government has run a sustainable fiscal policy, by reducing the primary deficit or increasing the surplus in response towards rising debt. Indonesia has a space to utilize more debt, but in a good manner (well-managed) especially aimed for productive and priority spending such as for infrastructure and education.

Suggested Citation

  • Tari Lestari, 2014. "Can Indonesia’s Fiscal Policy be Sustained, with Exploding Debt?," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS) 201415, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised Nov 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:unp:wpaper:201415
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    File URL: http://ceds.feb.unpad.ac.id/wopeds/201415.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Campos, Camila F.S. & Jaimovich, Dany & Panizza, Ugo, 2006. "The unexplained part of public debt," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 228-243, September.
    2. Enrique G. Mendoza & P. Marcelo Oviedo, 2006. "Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Uncertainty in Developing Countries: The Tale of the Tormented Insurer," NBER Working Papers 12586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Cassimon, Danny & van Campenhout, Bjorn, 2007. "Aid Effectiveness, Debt Relief and Public Finance Response: Evidence from a Panel of HIPCs," WIDER Working Paper Series 059, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Campos, Camila F.S. & Jaimovich, Dany & Panizza, Ugo, 2006. "The unexplained part of public debt," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 228-243, September.
    5. Danny Cassimon & Bjorn Van Campenhout, 2007. "Aid Effectiveness, Debt Relief and Public Finance Response: Evidence from a Panel of HIPC Countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 143(4), pages 742-763, December.
    6. Hausmann, Ricardo & Panizza, Ugo & Rigobon, Roberto, 2006. "The long-run volatility puzzle of the real exchange rate," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 93-124, February.
    7. Charl Jooste & Alfredo Cuevas & Ian C. Stuart & Philippe Burger, 2011. "Fiscal sustainability and the fiscal reaction function for South Africa," IMF Working Papers 11/69, International Monetary Fund.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Crisis; Fiscal sustainability; Natural Debt Limit; Public Debt; Fiscal Reaction Function; Deficits;

    JEL classification:

    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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