Maria Monica Wihardja

Dr Maria Monica Wihardja
Visiting Fellow
  • 0Regional Economic Studies Programme0
  • 0Indonesia Studies Programme0
  • 0Media, Technology and Society Programme0
Research Interest
Digital Economy/Technology, Jobs, Poverty and Inequality, Sustainability, Disinformation and Electoral Propaganda

Researcher’s Profile

Maria Monica Wihardja is a Visiting Fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore. She was a former World Bank Economist in the World Bank’s Poverty and Equity Global Practice and the recipient of the Nikkei Asian Scholar 2023. She is a member of the East Asia Forum’s Editorial Board and the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies’ Board of Directors. In 2017, she was seconded to the Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Indonesia as a senior advisor to the Deputy Chief Staff in charge of strategic economic issues, where she oversaw the food policy reforms and stunting prevention agenda. From 2012 to 2014, she represented Indonesia at the Think20 meetings at the Los Cabos, Saint Petersburg and Brisbane G20 Summits. Her main research topics are digital economy, labour market, food security and agricultural reforms, regional and global architecture, and disinformation and electoral propaganda. She has a PhD in Regional Science from Cornell University, a MPhil in Economics from Cambridge University, and a BA in Applied Mathematics-Economics from Brown University. She likes art and music, and is a children’s book author.


Current Research

Studies on supply chains, new economic order, disinformation and election propaganda, sustainability.


Selected Publications

Academic Publication

– Examining the Drivers of Changes in Mean Earning and Earning Inequality in Indonesia using RIF Quantile Regression Decomposition (Co-author: Abror Tegar Pradana), Asian Economic Journal (forthcoming 2024)
– The heterogenous impacts of digital transformation and investment on Indonesia’s labour market (Co-authors: Arya Swarnata, Abror Tegar Pradana, and Putu Sanji Wibisana), ERIA Discussion Paper (forthcoming 2024)
– Saving Japan from Sinking: The Role of Sociocultural Factors, Labor Market Reforms, and ASEAN-Japan Cooperation in DX. Japan Center for Economic Research Discussion Paper, January 2024
– Are ride-hailing services and public transport complements or substitutes? Evidence from the opening of Jakarta’s MRT system using ride-hailing platform data (Co-authors: Mark Roberts, Maarten Boker, Sailesh Tiwari, Putu Sanjiwacika Wibisana, Ramda Yanurzha), World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, December 2023
– Towards More Sustainable Agro-Food Systems in Indonesia (Co-author: Bustanul Arifin, Mukhammad Faisol Amir), Center for Indonesian Policy Studies Discussion Paper, October 2023
– The Effect of FDI on Indonesia’s Jobs, Wages, and Structural Transformation (Co-authors: Victor Steenbergen, Sarah Hebous, Abror Tegar Pradana), World Bank Open Knowledge
– Where Do Good Jobs Come From? Firm-Level Analysis of Job Creation Dynamics in the Medium and Large Manufacturing Industry in Indonesia (Co-author: Hamidah Alatas), World Bank Open Knowledge
– Do Political and Economic Factors Affect Institutional Quality? (Co-authors: Nadezhda Baryshnikova and Ngoc Pham), Economic Records, February 2016
– Natural Resources Management: The Effect of Commodity Boom on Indonesia’s Macroeconomic Fundamental, Industrial Development and Welfare, International Organizations Research Journal (IORJ) of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2016
– The Indonesian Economy from the Colonial Extraction Period until the Post-New Order Period: A Review of Thee Kian Wie’s Major Works, Economics and Finance in Indonesia, Vol.61 No.1, 2015
– Decentralization and Economic Performance in Indonesia (Co-author: Thomas Pepinsky).
Journal of East Asian Studies, 11(2), 2011.
– Endogenous Institutions in Indonesia (Co-author: Iwan Azis). Economics and Finance in Indonesia 58(3): 309-334, 2010.
– Survey of Recent Development (Co-author: Mark Baird). Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies
46(2): 143-170, 2010.
– Corruption in Public Procurement Auction: Positive Equilibrium Analysis, Incentive Mechanism Design, and Empirical Study. Journal of Economic Development 35(1): 35-57, 2010.

Policy Papers

Southeast Asian Economies
– The Impact of Supply Chain Reconfiguration on ASEAN Economies (Co-author: Aufa Doarest), ISEAS Perspective, May 2024
– Demographic Transitions in Southeast Asia: Reframing How We Think and Act About Ageing (Co-author: Reza Siregar), ISEAS Perspective, February 2024

Indonesian Economic Studies
– Growing Pains: Can Indonesia Rise Before It Ages? Australian Foreign Affairs (Forthcoming July 2024)
Indonesia’s Perspective on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (Co-author: Siwage Dharma Negara), ISAS-NUS and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Publication, September 2023
– Managing Indonesia’s Commodity Windfall for Long-Term Benefits (Co-author: Suryaputra Wijaksana), ISEAS Perspective, November 2022
– Pathways Towards Middle-Class Jobs in Indonesia (Co-Author: Wendy Cunningham), World Bank Group Publication, June 2021

Digital Economy/Technology
– Digital Transformation in Indonesia’s Labour Market: Gainers and Losers (Co-author: Abror Tegar Pradana, Putu Sanjiwacika Wibisana, Arya Swarnata), ISEAS Perspective, January 2024
– Digital Transformation under Indonesia’s G20 Presidency: What Can It Deliver? (Co-author: Lili Yan Ing, Titik Anas), ISEAS Perspective, July 2022
– Unlocking the Full Potential of Digital Merchants: Lessons from Round 2 of COVID-19 Digital Merchant Survey, World Bank’s Indonesia COVID-19 Observatory Policy Brief, January 2023
– Beyond Unicorns: Harnessing Digital Technologies for Inclusion in Indonesia (Chapter Lead), World Bank Group Publication, July 2021
– Gender Insights from the COVID-19 Digital Merchant Survey, World Bank’s Indonesia COVID-19 Observatory Policy Brief, December 2020
– Insights from the COVID-19 Digital Merchant Survey, World Bank’s Indonesia COVID-19 Observatory Policy Brief, December 2020
– Impacts on Digital Merchants: Insights from the Bukalapak-World Bank Survey, World Bank’s Indonesia COVID-19 Observatory Policy Brief, June 2020

– Financing the Green Economy: Options for Indonesia (Co-author: Reza Siregar), ISEAS Perspective, March 2023
– Towards More Sustainable Agro-Food Systems in Indonesia (Co-author: Bustanul Arifin, Mukhammad Faisol Amir), ISEAS Perspective, March 2023

Disinformation and Election Propaganda
– Deepfake and Selective Belief: How Does Partisanship Affect Voters’ Exposures and Beliefs to Deepfakes? (Co-author: Burhanuddin Muhtadi), ISEAS Perspective (forthcoming)

– The G20: The Last Defence of Multilateralism? (Co-author Suryaputra Wijaksana), ISEAS Perspective, June 2022
– The Global Infrastructure Opportunity: the G20 and Regional Organizations in the Asia Pacific (Co-author: Andrew Elek and Mahendra Siregar), in The G20 at Five. Ed. Peter Drysdale and Kemal Dervis. The Brookings Institutions Publication, 2014.
– Institutional Barriers in Developing Public Services in Regions (Co-author: Dandy Rafitrandi) in Policies for Indonesia, 2015-2019: Economic Agenda. Ed. Yose Damuri Rizal. Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Publication, 2014.



Edited Books, Book Chapters, Book Review and Obituary

Edited Books/Reports
– Modernizing Indonesia’s Agriculture. Ed. Aditya Alta, Risti Permani, Maria Monica Wihardja, Center for Indonesian Policy Studies Publication, 2024
– Millennial Disruptions: Understanding the Role of Indonesian Millennials in Shaping a Rapidly Changing World. Ed. Thung Ju Lan and Maria Monica Wihardja, ISEAS Publication, 2024
– East Asia Forum Quarterly: ASEAN and Japan. Ed. Nobuhiro Aizawa and Maria Monica Wihardja, East Asia Forum Quarterly, July-September 2023


Book Chapters
– Has Indonesia’s Food Policy Failed? In The Indonesian Economy in Transition. Policy Challenges in the Jokowi Era and Beyond. Ed. by Hal Hill and Siwage Dharma Negara. ISEAS Publication, 2019
– International Economic Cooperation during the Yudhoyono Presidency (Co-author: Siwage Dharma Negara), in Aspirations with Limitations: Indonesia’s Foreign Affairs under Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Ed. Ulla Fionna, Siwage Dharma Negara, Djisman Simandjuntak. ISEAS Publication, 2018
– Indonesia’s Democracy and Decentralization in the Post-1997 Era, in Macroeconomic Policy in Indonesia. Indonesia economy since the Asian financial crisis of 1997. Ed. by Anwar Nasution, Routledge, 2015.
– Indonesia in the Midst of Global Economic Uncertainties (Co-author: Reza Siregar), in Global Economic Uncertainties and the Southeast Asian Economies. Ed. Suthiphand Chirathivat, Chayodom Sabhasri and Aekapol Chongvilaivan, ISEAS Publication, 2015.


Book Reviews
– Book Review: A Tribute to Ali Wardhana, Indonesia’s Longest Serving Finance Minister: From His Writings to His Colleagues. Ed. by Mari Pangestu. Bulletin of Indonesia Economic Studies 52(1), 391-392, April 2016.
– Book Review: Indonesia Rising. The Repositioning of Asia’s Third Giant. Edited by Anthony Reid. Bulletin of Indonesia Economic Studies 49(3), 391-392, September 2013.


– In Memoriam: Thee Kian Wie: Dedicated Scholar and Public Intellectual (Co-author: Hal Hill and Siwage Dharma Negara). Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies 50(2), 277-287, August 2014.


Blog Articles/Op-Eds and Other Short Papers
ISEAS Fulcrum, World Economic Forum’s Agenda, World Bank Blog, East Asia Forum, Indonesia Economic Quarterly, Brooking Institutions Publication, Lowy Institute Publication, Australian Institute of International Affairs and Faircount Media, Reserve Bank of Australia Annual Conference Volume, Conference Papers: Prospects for the Russian Chairmanship of the G20, The Centre for International Governance Innovation Publication, The Indonesian Quarterly, Council of Foreign Relations’ Council of Councils, Asia Pacific Bulletin, Bulletin of Indonesian Economics Studies, East-West Dialogue, Wall Street Journal, The Jakarta Post, Kompas, The Nation, The Korea Herald