April 28, 2017

Educating more effective politicians

This video explains what happened when a better educated generation of Indonesians got involved in local politics

In the early 1970s, one-third of Indonesian children were not in school. Then, Indonesia underwent a radical transformation. Flush with oil revenues, this island nation embarked on one of the fastest school construction programs in the world. Between 1974 and 1978, the central government doubled the number of primary schools by building more than 61,000 new facilities with space for over seven million students. In a new study appearing in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, economist Monica Martinez-Bravo asks the question, did those better schools contribute to more effective local government? For the budding politicians in Indonesia, that was precisely the case. Thanks to these leaders, their constituents saw improvements in many services. Villages and their inhabitants enjoyed increased access to safe drinking water, additional healthcare centers, and more doctors, according to the Indonesian Village Census.