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Economic Effects of Taxes on Exports of Palm Oil Products

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In an effort to control increases in the prices of certain tradable commodities in recent years, the Indonesian government has experimented with a variety of policy interventions. Palm oil is important both as an export commodity and for household consumption in the form of cooking oil. We examine a palm oil export tax policy that ran from September 1994 through June 1997. We find that the taxes did reduce the domestic prices of palm oil products, and we estimate their effects on the distribution of income within Indonesia. Notably, we find that they actually reduced revenues of the government, and lowered profits for palm oil refiners. We also examine the efficiency effects and other aspects of the taxes. Finally, we discuss more drastic export restraints imposed more recently by the government during the economic crisis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: TIP Project, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Jakarta 2: World Bank, Washington, DC 3: World Bank, Jakarta

Publication date: December 1, 1998

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