Social policy and human capital

Investment in human capital and public service delivery remain major policy concerns in Indonesia. Both public and private spending on health is relatively low, while the large increase in public spending on education in the past decade has yet to yield any positive impact. In addition, human capital investments in Indonesia face substantial challenges with regards to governance, inequality in access to public services, and quality of education and health care. As a result, health and education outcomes fall behind those of its Southeast Asian neighbours. These issues are likely to have long welfare consequences, and frustrate Indonesia’s ambition to achieve sustainable growth and significantly reduce poverty.

Research at the Indonesia Project on this theme focuses on the constraints and risks that Indonesian households face in enhancing and harnessing their human capital, and improving our understanding of how public policies may benefit health and education outcomes, as well as improve welfare and reduce inequality.

Current research projects

  • Health equity and financial protection
  • Long term impacts of economic shocks on health outcomes of children
  • Poverty, labour markets and trade liberalisation
  • Efficiency and effectiveness of decentralized public spending in health and education
  • Higher education financing
  • Welfare impacts of community-driven development programs

Selected publications

  • Kis-Katos, K. and R. Sparrow. 2011. “Child Labor and Trade Liberalization in Indonesia”, Journal of Human Resources 46(4): 722-749.
  • Kruse, I., M. Pradhan and R. Sparrow. 2012. “Marginal Benefit Incidence of Public Health Spending: Evidence from Indonesian sub-national data”, Journal of Health Economics 31(1): 147-157.
  • Newhouse, D. and D. Suryadarma. 2011. “The Value of Vocational Education: High School Type and Labor Market Outcomes in Indonesia”, World Bank Economic Review 25(2): 296-322.
  • Sparrow, R., A. Suryahadi and W. Widyanti. 2012. “Social Health Insurance for the Poor: Targeting and Impact of Indonesia’s Askeskin Program?”, forthcoming in Social Science & Medicine.
  • Suryadarma, D. and G.W. Jones (eds). 2013. The State of Education in Indonesia. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Updated:  4 March 2015/ Responsible Officer:  Department Administrator/ Page Contact:  CAP Web Team