Personal profile


Firman Witoelar joined the Indonesia Project, Crawford School of Public Policy, in November 2018. Previously he was the research director of SurveyMeter, a research organization based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Before that he was a research economist at the development economics research group (DECRG) at the World Bank, Washington, DC. He holds a PhD in Economics from the Michigan State University and was a Rockefeller Postdoctoral Fellow at the Economic Growth Center, Yale University.

Since 2000, Firman has been involved with the development and implementation of Indonesia Family Life Survey including as one of the Co-Principal Investigators of IFLS4 (2007) and IFLS5 (2014).

Firman is a faculty affiliate at Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and at CPC Learning Network, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.

Research interests

Microeconomics of development: health behavior and outcomes, economics of aging, education and labor market outcomes, consumption and income dynamics, intersection of poverty and gender, long term dynamics of human capital formation and outcomes, survey design and methodology, and impact evaluation.


PhD (Economics, Michigan State University)

Researcher's projects

Selected projects (ongoing):

  • Indonesia Family Life Surveys  (Co-Principal Investigator)  IFLS
  • Empowering Indonesian Migrant Workers to Access Quality Overseas Placement Services  (Principal Investigator)  AEA RCT Registry: AEARCTR-0000630  
  • The Supply-side and Demand-side Effects of Financial Incentives: Experimental Evidence from Branchless Banking Agents in Rural Indonesia (Principal Investigator)  AEA RCT Registry: AEARCTR-0003167
  • An Evaluation of Illicit Drug User Rehabilitation in Indonesia (Principal Investigator) 
  • Long-term Human Capital Consequences of Childhood Exposure to Malaria in the Pacific (Principal Investigator)

Expertise Areas

  • Agricultural Economics
  • Economic Development and Growth
  • Economics of Education
  • Health Economics
  • Labour Economics
  • Family and Household Studies
  • Migration
  • Impact Evaluation


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