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External Shocks, Household Consumption and Fertility in Indonesia

  • Kim Jungho
  • Alexia Prskawetz

This paper examines the impact of idiosyncratic income shocks on household consumption, educational expenditure and fertility in Indonesia, and assesses whether the investment in human capital of children and fertility are used to smooth household consumption. Using six different kinds of self-reported economic hardships, our findings indicate that coping mechanisms are rather efficient for Indonesian households that perceive an economic hardship. Only in case of unemployment we find a significant decrease in consumption spending and educational expenditure while fertility increases. Theses results indicate that households that perceive an unemployment shock use children as a means for smoothing consumption. Regarding the death of a household member or natural disaster we find that consumption even increases. These results are consistent with the argument that coping mechanisms even over-compensate the actual consumption loss due to an economic hardship. One important lesson from our findings is that different types of income shock may lead to different economic and demographic behavioral adjustments and therefore require specific targeted social insurance programs.

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File URL: http://www.oeaw.ac.at/vid/download/WP2006_04.pdf
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Paper provided by Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna in its series Working Papers with number 0604.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vid:wpaper:0604
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.oeaw.ac.at/vid/

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  1. Michael Grimm, 2006. "Mortality and Survivors' Consumption," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 611, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Pitt, Mark M., 1984. "Agricultural Prices, Food Consumption and the Health and Productivity of Farmers," Bulletins 7471, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  3. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-91, May.
  4. repec:ese:iserwp:2005-13 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Lisa A. Cameron & Christopher Worswick, 2003. "The Labor Market as a Smoothing Device: Labor Supply Responses to Crop Loss," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 327-341, 05.
  6. Takatoshi Ito & Andrew K. Rose, 2007. "Fiscal Policy and Management in East Asia, NBER-EASE, Volume 16," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ito_07-1.
  7. Duryea, Suzanne & Lam, David & Levison, Deborah, 2007. "Effects of economic shocks on children's employment and schooling in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 188-214, September.
  8. Skoufias, Emmanuel, 2003. "Economic Crises and Natural Disasters: Coping Strategies and Policy Implications," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1087-1102, July.
  9. Raj Chetty & Adam Looney, 2007. "Income Risk and the Benefits of Social Insurance: Evidence from Indonesia and the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Policy and Management in East Asia, NBER-EASE, Volume 16, pages 99-121 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Cameron, L. & Worswick, C., 1998. "Education Expenditure Responses to Crop Loss in Indonesia: A Gender Bias," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 636, The University of Melbourne.
  11. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Schultz, T Paul, 1985. "The Demand for and Supply of Births: Fertility and Its Life Cycle Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 992-1015, December.
  12. Nikhil Roy & Andrew D. Foster, 1996. "The Dynamics of Education and Fertility: Evidence from a Family Planning Experiment"," Home Pages _073, University of Pennsylvania.
  13. Conley, Timothy G. & Galenson, David W., 1998. "Nativity and Wealth in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Cities," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(02), pages 468-493, June.
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