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Endowments, location or luck ? evaluating the determinants of sub-national growth in decentralized Indonesia

  • McCulloch, Neil
  • Sjahrir, Bambang Suharnoko

Indonesia's"big bang"decentralization in 2001 shifted much of the responsibility for local economic development from central government to district and city governments, which today number more than 450. But the performance of these districts has varied widely. This paper attempts to understand the determinants of sub-national (district/city) growth in Indonesia and map how these determinants have changed since before the 1997/98 economic crisis. The authors exploit a rich dataset that includes a wide range of district-level characteristics, including education, population, cultural, economic, and infrastructure variables, as well as a set of variables relating to distance, to try to explain growth. The analysis finds that, after accounting for differences in other variables, poorer districts tend to grow faster than better off districts. Similarly, there is evidence of spatial divergence, in the sense that districts tend to grow faster if their neighbors are growing quickly. However, the quality of the existing district-level data makes it difficult to identify whether endowments or factors related to distance are systematically associated with growth.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4769.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4769
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  1. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  2. Barro, Robert J, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-43, May.
  3. Catin, Maurice & Luo, Xubei & Van Huffel, Christophe, 2005. "Openness, industrialization, and geographic concentration of activities in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3706, The World Bank.
  4. Jorge Garcia Garcia & Lana Soelistianingsih, 1998. "Why Do Differences in Provincial Incomes Persist in Indonesia?," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 95-120.
  5. Takahiro Akita, 2002. "Regional Income Inequality In Indonesia And The Initial Impact Of The Economic Crisis," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(2), pages 201-222.
  6. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1991. "Convergence across States and Regions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 107-182.
  7. Armida Alisjahbana & Arief Anshory Yusuf, 2003. "Assessing Indonesia's sustainable development: long-run trend, impact of the crisis, and adjustment during the recovery period," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS) 200306, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised Oct 2003.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. World Bank, 2006. "Making the New Indonesia Work for the Poor," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8172, The World Bank.
  10. Erlangga Agustino Landiyanto & Rummaya & Wirya Wardaya, 2005. "Growth in East Java : Convergence or Divergence ?," GE, Growth, Math methods 0508005, EconWPA.
  11. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Convergence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 223-51, April.
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