Leaders’ Characteristics in Indonesia: What Does the Data Say?

Authors : Albert Ludi Angkawibawa, Jahen F. Rezki

Executive Summary

Leaders’ qualities are an essential part of economic growth and policymaking. Nonetheless, in many cases, the information about leaders’ qualities and characteristics is limited. This study investigates and provides new information about leadership characteristics in Indonesia. We collect novel datasets from the curriculum vitae of local leaders (e.g., mayors, vice mayors, regents, and vice-regents) at districts in Indonesia to understand the leaders in Indonesia’s political environment. We find that most of the local leaders in Indonesia are male, highly educated, experienced, and had experience in bureaucracy. Our results suggest that Indonesia’s political system is still dominated by specific groups and exclusive to certain groups. However, our study suggests that since it transitioned into a democratized country in 1998, the quality of elected leaders’ quality in Indonesia has improved. Nonetheless, it remains unclear whether these characteristics lead to better policy choices.

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