Assessing the causal impact of compulsory schooling policy in Indonesia

Blane Lewis, Hieu Nguyen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Having achieved near universal primary education by the late 1980s, Indonesia turned its attention to increasing secondary school enrolments. In this context, we examine the causal impact of Indonesia's 1994 compulsory junior secondary schooling initiative. We apply regression discontinuity methods to a sample of about 20,000 individuals. We investigate both intent-to-treat and treatment-on-the-treated effects. We subject our empirical examination to an exhaustive battery of robustness tests. We find no evidence that the compulsory schooling program increased educational attainment. The apparent lack of impact is a unique result across studies that have examined such reforms. We discuss some limitations in government implementation that may underlie program ineffectiveness and acknowledge possible shortcomings in our analysis that may drive the estimated null effects.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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