Behind the Jokowi’s victory: did economic voting matter in the 2014 Indonesian presidential election?

Nurdien Aji, Teguh Dartanto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The 2014 presidential election marked Indonesia’s transition into a mature democratic Islamic country. Joko Widodo, known as Jokowi, was inaugurated as Indonesia’s seventh president, defeated Prabowo Subianto by a margin of 53.1–46.9%, respectively. In the absence of an incumbent, voters evaluated both presidential candidates based on a mix of prospective and retrospective economic performance. This study merges data from the Village Potential Census (PODES) and the crowdsource data (Kawal Pemilu) from vote recap to investigate the existence of economic voting and the effect of socioeconomic conditions at the village level on voting behavior. Our study confirmed that economic access, conditions of infrastructure, and middle-class group played major roles in the Jokowi victory. The middle class tended to choose Jokowi, because his ideology best matched their own. Moreover, social cleavages related to religion and ethnicity are still dominant as villages with a Muslim majority tended to choose Prabowo that was associated with an Islamic representative. Unfortunately, media and black campaigns also significantly influenced voters’ decisions. This evidence provides valuable lessons learned for Indonesians in preparing for a better 2019 presidential election.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-138
Number of pages24
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Regional Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • Economic voting
  • Indonesia
  • Local economy
  • Middle class
  • Presidential election


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