Stern, Joseph J. "Impact of the Crisis - Decline and Recovery." KSG Faculty Working Paper Series RWP04-005, February 2004.


When the Asian financial crisis broke in mid-1997, the expectation was that Indonesia would weather the crisis with minimal damage. Actual events soon proved these expectations widely wrong and the Indonesian economy was more severely affected than other Asian countries. In part this outcome reflected Indonesia's fundamental institutional weakness that had been overlooked in the euphoria that marked international financial markets during the 1990s, and in part the impact of the financial crisis was magnified by inconsistent internal policies and by an overly ambitious IMF program that tried to achieve too much in to short a period of time. The result was not only a severe economic contraction with rising poverty levels and growing social unrest, but a political change that resulted, in the short-run, in further economic instability and effectively delayed Indonesia's recovery.