Many developing countries have long maintained fuel subsidies because they are politically impossible to abandon, owing to the sticker shock that the public encounters at the pump as soon as prices are floated. But now that oil prices have reached historic lows, this problem has all but disappeared.
M. Chatib Basri, Indonesia’s finance minister from 2013 to 2014, is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of Indonesia
Rema N. Hanna, Professor of South-East Asia Studies at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, is Faculty Director of Harvard’s Evidence for Policy Design
Benjamin A. Olken, Professor of Economics at MIT, is Director of MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab