November 05, 2014
News /
Posted by NCID

Mónica Martinez-Bravo, assistant professor at CEMFI, gave a talk at the ICS on her research on the impact of building schools for improving local government in Indonesia

"The education of local politicians seems to be a key part of improving the delivery of public services in poor communities," or so claimed Mónica Martinez-Bravo, associate professor at the Center for Monetary and Financial Studies (CEMFI), during a seminar organized by the Navarra Center for International Development (NCID) of the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS), the humanities and social sciences research center at the University of Navarra.

In her seminar, entitled Educate to Lead? The Local Political Economy Effects of School Construction in Indonesia, Martinez-Bravo, who has a PhD in economics, presented her research on the impact that the construction of numerous schools in improving local government and the provision of public goods has had in Indonesia.

Human capital in the public sector

Between 1973 and 1979, the Indonesian government implemented a construction program of schools called Sekolah Dasar Inpres, thanks to which more than 61,000 schools were built. Mónica Martinez-Bravo has analyzed the provision of public goods during the period when the first cohort of INPRES program young beneficiaries reached an age where they could form part of local governments.

Martinez-Brave concluded that "As a result of the construction of INPRES schools, the education level of the heads of the villages increased in half a year." In turn, she stressed that an additional year of education for these leaders increased the construction of primary schools by 3% and the number of doctors in the locality by 17%.

Monica Martinez-Bravo highlighted that the work "emphasizes the role of human capital in the public sector as an important component of state capacity and the provision of public services at the local level."