Palm oil and poverty in Indonesia

Crawford School of Public Policy | Arndt-Corden Department of Economics

Event details

PhD Seminar (Econ)

Date & time

Friday 24 April 2015


Seminar Room 3, Level 1, JG Crawford Building 132, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Ryan Edwards, PhD scholar, Crawford School, ANU.


Robert Sparrow

This is the first systematic study looking at the effect of Indonesia’s large oil palm expansion in the 2000s on poverty. Using a new district-level administrative panel, I find increasing the palm oil share of land in a district by 10 percentage points corresponds to around a 10 per cent reduction in its poverty rate and a narrowing of the poverty gap. Increased employment and higher output in agriculture and manufacturing are key channels. Effects are evident over different time horizons, and strongest in poorer rural districts. Impacts from large plantations have a consistent time profile, while smallholder oil palm land has no statistically significant effects on poverty in the short run. After the minimum two years required for the first yield, smallholder land has similar poverty effects as large plantations.

Updated:  20 July 2024/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team