Fiscal Policy Evolution and Distributional Implications: The Indonesian experience Smitha Francis

[Working Paper No. 01/2012]

This paper analyses Indonesia’s resource mobilisation and public expenditure policies against the backdrop of her inequality trends and macroeconomic policy evolution. It is argued that the country’s fiscal policy stance has been adversely impacted by her monetary and financial sector policies under an open capital account, with attendant regressive distributional implications. Juxtaposing the analysis of revenue mobilisation trends and taxation policies with the evidence of increasing asset and land concentration and persisting high inequalities reveals that the increase in income tax revenue did not necessarily come from the upper income profiles or corporate profits. Meanwhile, although government expenditure to GDP ratio has improved after 2003, capital expenditures and social expenditures other than those in education continue to remain low. Further, the current pattern of fiscal decentralisation does not seem to be effective in addressing the existing disparities.

01_2012  (Download the full text in PDF format)