Academic journal article NBER Reporter

Indonesia

Academic journal article NBER Reporter

Indonesia

Article excerpt

The fifth in a series of country-specific meetings of the NBER Project on Economic and Financial Crises in Emerging Market Countries, directed by NBER President Martin Feldstein and Research Associate Jeffrey A. Frankel, both of Harvard University, took place in Cambridge on September 15. This gathering focused on Indonesia and was organized by Simon Johnson of MIT and Steven Radelet of the U.S. Department of Treasury. Like earlier NBER meetings on Mexico, Thailand, Brazil, and Korea, this occasion brought together academics, individuals representing the country, international bankers, and government officials in the hopes of developing an in-depth understanding of Indonesia's economic situation.

The day-long meeting was divided into four sessions. In Session 1, a panel consisting of Iwan Azis, Cornell University, Joseph Stern, Harvard University, Swati Ghosh, the World Bank, and Rino Effendi, Danareksa, discussed liberalization and growth in Indonesia prior to 1997. They asked, for example: What were the origins of the Indonesian economic crisis? Was Indonesia's macroeconomic policy before 1997 appropriate? Also, did Indonesia undertake international financial liberalization too soon -- that is, before trade or domestic financial liberalization, or strengthening regulations? And, was banking supervision a problem before the crisis?

In Session 2, the experts discussed Indonesian macroeconomic policy in the fall of 1997. The panelists were: J. Soedradjad Djiwandono, formerly of the Bank of Indonesia; Steven Radelet; David Lipton, Moore Capital Strategy Group; and Josh Felman, IMF. This group focused on the following questions: How appropriate was the initial macroeconomic response? Was the Indonesian rupiah initially overvalued? …

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