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Title: Macro, household and individual level explanations for the geographic differences in poverty levels in Indonesia, 2000-2009
Author: Kanagaratnam, Usha
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 0932
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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Measuring and explaining poverty and its geographic differences in Indonesia is mostly confined to a single measure of poverty and to macro-level explanations. This thesis moves beyond these constraints to investigate regional poverty trends using multiple measures of poverty and to explore household and individual level explanations. The analyses in the thesis are undertaken using data from the SUSENAS core, covering the period 2000-2009. Different measures of poverty produce different numbers of poor. Some 33 million additional Indonesians were identified as poor using the $1.25 a day poverty measure than the official measure used by the government. The differences between both measures of poverty are, however, driven by poverty trends in the early 2000s, following the devastating impact of the 1997-1998 financial crisis. In the latter part of the 2000s, poverty trends were converging between the two poverty measures, suggesting some degree of reliability of Indonesia's official poverty measure. At the macro level, on average, increasing GDP is significantly associated with falling levels of poverty. The association is reduced marginally when the share of the informal workforce is taken into account, but in general the negative relationship remains robust. Regional analyses, however, reveal that GDP has a very small, insignificant negative association with poverty in the poorest region. At the individual level, education strongly determines poverty, independently of employment status. A substantial share of the primary and lower secondary qualified population is employed in informal work, yet their risk of poverty is substantially lower when compared to those with no formal qualification engaging as informal workers. More importantly, the highest risk of poverty exists among the unemployed who lack a formal education. This finding is highlighted because unemployment is often seen as having little relevance to poverty, since a higher proportion of the unemployed are tertiary educated. The 'penalty' on poverty for those occupying the lower tiers of educational qualification is heavier in less developed regions. Household level analysis show that the different groups of female-headed households (de facto, widows and divorcees) are less likely to be in poverty than male-headed couple households. After controlling for socioeconomic characteristics and the number of young children within households, however, female-headed divorcee households are found to be marginally poorer than male-headed couple households. Regional level analyses reveal that poverty is significantly higher in female divorcee-led households than in male-headed couple households in all regions, except in the most and least developed ones, where poverty is comparable between both groups.
Supervisor: Monden, Christiaan Sponsor: Maxis Berhad
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Measuring and explaining the geographic differences in poverty in Indonesia ; Geographic differences in poverty in Indonesia ; Measuring subnational poverty ; Economic growth and poverty ; Female headship and poverty ; Level of education and poverty ; Informal employment and poverty