In November 2014, the Government of Indonesia launched an expansion of existing social protection programs using a new form of beneficiary identification cards: Smart Indonesia Card (KIP), Healthy Indonesia Card (KIS), and Family Welfare Card (KKS). Upon launching these programs, the government recognizes the need to verify and update the existing database from which the social programs' beneficiary list is based. Like many countries, the Statistic Indonesia will update the beneficiary database using a household asset survey--a proxy means test.
One worry is that these forms of asset surveys have distortionary effects--that households do not invest in assets that they are asked about on the proxy means test in order to maintain their eligibility status. Alternatively, households may become worried about how the government will use their data, and these surveys may lead to worse quality on other government datasets. The government of Indonesia seeks to understand if this is indeed the case. Thus, we are working with them to build in an evaluation into their national proxy means test survey (the PBDT) to test this idea.
Using publically-available, de-identified survey data collected by the government (SUSENAS--available in the Harvard library), this research aims to evaluate the effect of receiving the different PBDT surveys on subsequent household asset acquisition.