Wage Trends in Rice Production on Java: 1976-1988

Lack of consensus among researchers in Indonesia concerning real wage trends in rice production has generated disagreement over rural labour market conditions on Java. This paper identifies some empirical difficulties associated with measuring real wages, difficulties which have contributed to conflicting results in the literature. It is argued that the choice of deflator and the time period of analysis play a significant role in the calculation of real wages. In addition, the regional dimension of analysis is shown to be important, particularly during certain discrete time periods in recent history.