CHAPTER ELEVEN

Effects of Crisis andPolitical Change,1997–1999

William D. Sunderlin

Beginning in mid-1997, Asian currencies lost value against the U.S. dollar, leading to an unprecedented regionwide economic crisis. Among all the Asian countries affected, none fared worse than Indonesia. As explained by the World Bank (1998, 1), “No country in recent history, let alone one the size of Indonesia, has ever suffered such a dramatic reversal of fortune.”1 In the period 1967–1997, Indonesia had experienced average annual economic growth of 6.5%; in 1998, the economy contracted 13.6%. This was by far the biggest setback among Southeast Asian countries, and Indonesia was the only country in the region to experience serious inflation in 1998 (Hill 1999, ...

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