Does information empower the poor? Evidence from Indonesia’s social security card

Crawford School of Public Policy | Arndt-Corden Department of Economics
Photo by Đức Mạnh on Unsplash

Event details

ACDE Seminar

Date & time

Tuesday 07 July 2020


Online via Zoom


Anu Rammohan, University of Western Australia

In 2013 Indonesia conducted one of the largest ever information interventions in an attempt to further alleviate poverty and as a complement to the Social Protection Card. Drawing upon administrative data and nationally representative surveys, we evaluate the impact of the information campaign on the receipt of assistance from two large social programs: Raskin (rice for the poor) and BLSM (temporary unconditional cash transfers). Using a fuzzy regression discontinuity methodology, and further corroborating our results with semi-parametric and parametric techniques, we show that the information treatment increases the amount of rice received under the Raskin program by around 30 percentage points. In terms of the BLSM, we further show that the treatment reduces the likelihood of elite capture by local leaders by around 25 percentage points. We also provide evidence that understanding the information treatment is crucial for poor households’ outcomes, since fully informed households receive their full rice entitlement.

All welcome; no registration necessary.

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