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How does the Indonesian record look in comparative international perspective? There are no obvious country comparators in the sense of countries with very similar characteristics. I therefore chose four middle-income Asian economies: the two developing giants, the People's Republic of China (PRC) and India; and two neighboring middle-income ASEAN states, the Philippines and Thailand. These data are based on the World Bank's PovcalNet dataset for the longest time period available, 1981–2015. These data draw on the country statistics and then estimate head count poverty according to the $1.9 and $3.2 (PPP at 2011 prices) poverty lines. The results are presented in Table 4 in the form of point-to-point estimates between the initial and final years.

Table 4. 

Poverty, Comparative Dimensions

Comparative Poverty Estimates, 1981–2015
CountryInitial Poverty (%)Final Poverty (%)DifferenceDifference per YearIGPE
1. Povcal $1.9      
PRC 88.1 0.7 87.4 2.6 −1.8 
India 57.4 13.4 44 1.3 −0.9 
Indonesia 76.4 7.2 69.2 −1.3 
Philippines 24.2 7.8 16.4 0.5 −1.2 
Thailand 19.6 Negligible 19.6 0.6 −4.6 
2. Povcal $3.2      
PRC 99.3 92.3 2.7 −1.2 
India 86.5 50.4 36.1 1.1 −0.4 
Indonesia 93.5 33.2 60.3 1.8 −0.7 
Philippines 53.1 32.7 20.4 0.6 −0.5 
Thailand 43.1 0.5 42.6 1.3 −4.4 
Comparative Poverty Estimates, 1981–2015
CountryInitial Poverty (%)Final Poverty (%)DifferenceDifference per YearIGPE
1. Povcal $1.9      
PRC 88.1 0.7 87.4 2.6 −1.8 
India 57.4 13.4 44 1.3 −0.9 
Indonesia 76.4 7.2 69.2 −1.3 
Philippines 24.2 7.8 16.4 0.5 −1.2 
Thailand 19.6 Negligible 19.6 0.6 −4.6 
2. Povcal $3.2      
PRC 99.3 92.3 2.7 −1.2 
India 86.5 50.4 36.1 1.1 −0.4 
Indonesia 93.5 33.2 60.3 1.8 −0.7 
Philippines 53.1 32.7 20.4 0.6 −0.5 
Thailand 43.1 0.5 42.6 1.3 −4.4 

IGPE = implicit growth–poverty elasticity, PRC = People's Republic of China.

Source: World Bank. PovcalNet. iresearch.worldbank.org/PovcalNet (accessed May 15, 2019).

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