The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
In the context of continuing adjustments in the economy, the Government of Indonesia proposes to bring energy prices closer to long run marginal cost, while adequately compensating the poor. We focus on the constraints on central government policy objectives towards the poor as decentralization takes effect. However, local governments currently lack credible social protection instruments and their objectives usually do not match those of the center, which imposes constraints on program designs. We discuss the suitability of a number of safety net mechanisms in a decentralized context and draw policy implications.