Off shoring effect

•September 24, 2012 • 1 Comment

Offshoring and outsourcing have been studied by many economists (see for example Antras et al (2005), Grossman and Rossi-Hansberg (2006) and Deardorff (2005), among others). In (economic) geography however, there hasn’t been done much research about offshoring and outsourcing yet. Although in the field of firm demography, which can be thought of as a segment of economic geography, many studies have been published about the birth, death and migration of firms, this is mainly focused on the firms within a country. An important reason for this is of course that firm migrations abroad account only for a small part of all the firm relocations. Furthermore, firm demography is mostly concerned with the relocation of complete firms, not the relocation of certain activities, as is the case with offshoring. However, the number of firms moving activities abroad is increasing. It also shows that the yearly percentage of firms that relocated activities has increased over the studied period. All changes in the locations of companies and corresponding changes in the places of production and services activities have an impact on the economy in Indonesia.

Although scientific research shows that offshoring and outsourcing have been steadily increasing, it is still low. However, the recent media and political attention on production and service offshoring from developed to developing countries gives the impression that outsourcing and offshoring are exploding. As a result, workers in industrial countries are anxious about job losses (Amiti and Wei, 2004).

One of the first questions that comes up when studying these relocations is; what is exactly the difference between outsourcing and offshoring? So far, these two concepts have been used interchangeable. However, there is a difference. Outsourcing and offshoring are related to the ‘make or buy’ decision. A firm can decide to subcontract part of the production capacity or services to another company, which is called outsourcing. If a firms decides to relocate part of their activities abroad, this is called offshoring. Offshore outsourcing is subcontracting a part of the activities of a firm to a foreign country. Offshoring without outsourcing means that the firm will take over an existing firm or set up a new firm abroad (Poort et al., 2004 and Ministry of Economic Affairs, 2005). 

Outsourcing and offshoring can be seen as part of international trade. Instead of producing a product in a developed country, it is now imported from developing countries where labor is cheap and abundant. However, the renewed attention for offshoring is caused by the fact that the relocation of production is no longer confined to the situation where only low skilled production was transferred to low wage and labour abundant countries, as would be expected by examining the neoclassical trade theories. Increasingly, high skilled jobs, (for example ITservices) previously thought to be safe from competition from low wage countries are also shipped abroad.

A requirement that foreign companies sell 51 percent of their mines to Indonesians within 10 years of production is hurting exports such as nickel and copper ores. But at least in the latest quarter, new investment has started as miners seek to comply with new rules that they build local smelters or process ore domestically by 2014. 

In contrast to this pessimistic view, outsourcing and offshoring can contribute to the maintenance and development of employment in the developing countries. Because of savings, improvement of the competitive position and perspectives for new investments, new high skilled jobs can be created. According to Deloitte (2006), the process of offshoring in Indonesia is already on its return. Most profit is to be gained in the optimization of the production process and the improvement in the chain management (Deloitte, 2006). This means that the separate locations will have to be integrated into one production network with planning on a broader scale. Relocations consequently only make sense if it happens in combination with a thorough thought and centrally led production chain.

That offshoring and outsourcing are still very low can also be shown from the fact that in many industrial countries ‘insourcing’ is greater than outsourcing (Amiti and Wei, 2004). Insourcing can be described as the opposite of outsourcing and offshoring (investments from foreign located firms to domestic firms). Amiti and Wei (2004) used the exports of business and computing services from the IMF Balance of Payment Statistics Yearbook 2002 as a proxy for insourcing. 

However, scaling the export value by the size of the GDP, smaller economies tend to be more insource-intensive than the larger ones. The top three now consists of Vanuatu, Singapore and Hong Kong (Amiti and Wei, 2004). It is arguable whether business and computing services is a good proxy to measure insourcing. Although studying the effects of outsourcing and offshoring on recipient countries goes beyond the scope of this thesis, it is an important aspect of firm relocations. According to Folmer (Volkskrant 13 april 2004), offshoring and outsourcing are new ways of  development aid because developing countries become an interesting firm location. Furthermore, there is a shortage of labor in developed countries in sectors like the IT and care, and personnel in developing countries can help to reduce the scarcity. As a result, migration from developing to developed countries will decline.

Defining outsourcing and offshoring
First of all, the distinction between outsourcing and offshoring has to be clarified. This distinction is not clear-cut and the two concept are often used interchangeable. According to Biermans and Leeuwen (2006), the meaning of the term outsourcing has changed the last couple of years, but the original definition is still in use:
Outsourcing describes the act of obtaining services and/ or goods from an external firm (Biermans and Leeuwen, 2006).
The definition of offshoring most frequently used in the literature is very broad. Biermans and Leeuwen (2006) describe it as ‘the relocation of production abroad’ (p. 9). Ter Beek et al. (2005) defines it as ‘the relocation of labor to low income countries’ (p.4). The definitions of Poort et al. (2004) and Berenschot (2004) are similar: ‘offshoring is the relocation of activities to low income counties’.
The most important aspects of offshoring are:
– relocation
– activities
– low income countries
Outsourcing can be seen as a part of the offshoring process, however, outsourcing does not have to include offshoring and it is also possible to offshore without outsourcing. This can be clarified by making the distinction between the location of the activities (national or abroad; onshore or offshore) and the type of ownership (the make or buy decision; in-house or outsourcing).

However, there are some more considerations concerning offshore outsourcing and foreign direct investments that have be kept in mind.

1. These foregoing definitions do not take into account the distance to place of the relocation. 
2. Another consideration is the type of activities that will be moved abroad: production
(e.g. the production of electronics in China) or services (e.g. the call centers in India). Offshoring services, in particular IT-services, can be done in three ways: captive service provisioning, native service provisioning and foreign service provisioning (Beulen, 2005). Captive (or in-house) service provisioning means setting up an own service center in a low income country. The firms has to make considerable investments (FDI) in this country. In the case of native service provisioning, a company outsources the work to a local IT-supplier, and this local IT supplier gets the work done offshore. In the case of foreign service provisioning, the company outsources the work directly to an offshore IT-supplier. Both native service provisioning and foreign service provisioning come under the heading of offshore outsourcing. A familiar example is an IT-company in India that develops software for
a company in Indonesia. If this Indonesian company is a non IT-company, it is called foreign service provisioning, and if in case of an IT-company, it is called native service provisioning.

Low skilled service and production jobs where personal contact is necessary won’t be offshored, which means that demand for hairdressers, cleaners and plumbers in developing countries will continue to exist.

One relatively recent aspect of service offshoring is that people in developing countries go to developed countries for a medical operation or cosmetic surgery. This market has especially been booming in countries like Turkey, Thailand and Brazil. This is also a part of the offshoring process, as it does fit into the broad definition of offshoring as an relocation of labor to low income countries. One of the reasons of this is of course the differences in prices for these operations.

3. Third, an essential question is which markets are being served by this new location. A distinction can be made between horizontal FDI and vertical FDI. Horizontal FDI serves foreign markets, new markets will be opened up to sell the products. This has not necessarily negative effects on employment in the home country. Vertical FDI combines serving the home country and opening up new markets with the (partly) replacement of production or services in the home country. The effects of an expansion of vertical FDI on the home country are ambiguous (Biermans and Leeuwen, 2006).

4. As said before, offshoring does not necessarily lead to (total) outsourcing. It is possible to open an own company or set up operations with other firms. Deloitte, cited in Ter Beek et al. (2005), distinguishes five ways to offshore activities:
– outsourcing: total subcontracting to a third party
– joint venture: setting up a new operation together with a third party
– wholly owned: set up a new firm as a subsidiary company
– turnkey: asking for the help of thirds, but keeping the full control over the operation
– indirect: collaboration with a third party who uses offshoring

Public policy and offshoring
In deciding what policy to use to influence the decisions of companies whether or not to relocate a low cost country, two points are important:
1. Keeping existing firms in the region. However, this doesn’t means that the work needs to remain the same.
2. Attracting new firms to the region. Attention will be paid here to the different ways that regional policy in Indonesia is able to influence the companies within the country. Embeddedness, innovation and education play important roles in formulating these policies. Both the new economic geography and the institutional theory provide a theoretical framework for this.

In general, public policy concerning offshoring should target the improvement of the competitiveness and entrepreneurial climate in Indonesia. Policies that prevent offshoring (and the loss of employment) might backfire because the choice facing some industries is to offshore or cease to exist (Robert-Nicoud, 2006). This means that eventually these companies will leave the region even when measures are implemented that will prevent the company from leaving the region. Some of the measures include giving companies a tax advantage when keeping employment in the country or region, introducing a tax when companies want to relocate labour and letting an independent organization test the offshoring plans of companies (Poort et al., 2004). Furthermore, these tax measures will probably cause companies to go for offshore outsourcing, in which formally no labor is being relocated, because of ownership changes. These measures might not be the optimal choice for a company, reducing the competitiveness of the company.

Improving the position of Indonesia by keeping existing firms in the region and attracting new firms can be done in different ways, that reinforce each other when implemented the appropriate way. Points of attention include embeddedness, innovation and education. These aspects are also important in the report of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

– The government needs to address the shortage of skilled talent, especially for technical professions. Investments in science and technical educations need to increase to ensure continued global competitiveness. 
– Increase the education of the labor force, making sure that the labor force meets the demand of the companies in the North. The labor force needs to be used up to its maximum. This means promoting and investing in higher technical education.
– Create embeddedness; strong social relationships and strong networks between companies in the country.
– Use city and region marketing as a tool for making the region more attractive for (innovative) companies to locate. Create an innovative environment for these companies. Infrastructure, living and housing conditions, educational opportunities and the supply of business areas need to meet the demands of the companies and its employees.
– Improve the innovativeness of the existing and new firms in the whole regions by creating strong relationships with the Universities (innovation campus) and other higher education in each region.
– Set up retraining programs for (older) employees that are laid off. They have often worked for one company a lot of years and it is hard to find a new job in the same sector.

Economically active population

•September 23, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The land of Thousands of Island is known for its unique culture and majestic beauty. The cultural fervor of the country is reflected in its population which counts to around 201 million people. The Indonesia population makes it ranked fourth in the world only after China, India and United States of America. Out of the more than 13,000 islands of the land only a handful are inhabited that shoots up the population density of the country to a higher level. The island of Java upholds it with more than 107 million people living in that island in an area which spreads to not more than the area of New York State. The Indonesian population presents the picture of a mixed group of ethnic cultures and several linguistic groups.


The increase in population size has been the result of fertility and mortality trends, while international migration has not played a determining role in Indonesia (Dobossy et al., 2003). The combination of these fertility and mortality processes is also called the demographic transition (Hilderink, 2000). 

Fertility is measured by the Total Fertility Rate (TFR), which is defined as “the average number of children that would be born per woman if all women lived to the end of their childbearing years and bore children according to a given fertility rate at each age (CIA World Factbook, 2012).‟ This is a period rate, which is widely used and measured among demographers. From this point forward, all TFR references are referring to the period total fertility rate, unless stated otherwise.

The fertility rate in Indonesia is now down to about 2.1 which is almost exactly replacement level and suggests that population will stabilize in the foreseeable distant future. Women are also having babies later, which also slows the rate of population growth. The UN’s medium population projection is that fertility will continue to fall to around 1.85, which would mean the total population, now 232 million, would stabilize at 290 million soon after 2050. However, if fertility falls faster than expected, population could peak by 2035 at just 257 million. As is it, the population is now only growing at barely 1 percent compared with over 2 percent in the 1970s and 1980s, and the rate of increase will continue to fall year by year. The country is also now in the very usual position that the total number of people in each five-year cohort between 0 and 30 is almost exactly the same size: 20 million. There is no baby bulge or bust to worry about.

There are several positive consequences of these overall trends. The first is that the percentage of the population in the 15-59 bracket has already reached 64 percent compared with 58 percent in 1990. This will edge slightly higher to 65 percent by 2020 but essentially is now on a plateau and will remain there for a long time. The median age, which in 1990 was only 21, is now 28 and will climb to 32 by 2020. In other words, it is entering the range which, other things being equal, individual enterprise and productivity are at their peak. 

The second is that the pressure for new job creation is easing rapidly, making it more likely that the nation can focus more on quality and productivity. The working-age population grew by 26 million between 1990 and 2000, but the increase fell to 23 million in the decade just ended and will be only 20 million in the decade to 2020. Meanwhile, it will be another two decades at least before the percentage of old people becomes a significant issues. The 65-plus group will be only 7.5 percent by 2020 compared with 6.1 percent today. 

Another benefit, at least compared with sexist neo-Confucian countries and parts of India, is that there is no male preference. The ratio of male to female births has been steady at a natural 1.05 for decades. This in turn makes it more likely that fertility will stabilize at or near replacement level while China’s shortage of women will undermine its efforts to sustain the birth rate. Raising the fertility rate (births per woman) to a replacement level of 2.1 will be of limited value if there is a 15 percent shortfall in the number of women (as is the case now in the 0-10 group). 

The mortality trends in Indonesia have also shown a diverging path from the average South East Asian mortality development. Indonesia has been characterized by a high mortality level relative to the social, economic and cultural level of the country (Kamarás, 1999). The increasing mortality affected the working age males and females (Valkonen, 1991), whereby the increasing mortality of middle-aged (30-59 years old) males was responsible for 85% of the mortality increase. Jozan (1991) relates the unhealthy lifestyle and Valkonen (1991) relates the increased amount of cardiovascular diseases to be the cause of male health deterioration.

Directly related to the mortality is the life expectancy at birth, which also suffered from the above mentioned. A widening gap between male and female life expectancy arose between 1980 and 1996, resulting in a male life expectancy at birth of 69,8 and 77,8 years for females in 2008. Although male and female life expectancies at birth have witnessed growth over the past 20 years, they are still lagging behind the South East Asian average (WHO, 2010).

The population decrease occurred simultaneously with the ageing of the population. This is shown by an increasing number of the population aged 65+ and a decrease in the number of under 15 year olds, thereby changing the ratio of elderly persons to that of children (the ageing index) in the advantage of the elderly. The growing amount of elderly people has its impact on the dependency ratio (number of people aged 0-14 and 65+ divided by the number of people aged 15-64) and the old age dependency ratio (number of people aged 65+ divided by the number of people aged 15-64). This leads to an increased burden on the active labour force, which is paying the taxes that make the system of Indonesian social securities, pensions and retirements, work.

The development of the labour force therefore plays a crucial role in the maintenance of the public finances (Euwals et al., 2006). Measures to re-establish a stable supply of labour have to be taken, as ageing puts pressure on the (supply of) labour force and therefore on the public finances. The two most effective measures to increase the labour supply are an increase of the labour force participation and a reform of the social security and retirement agreements (Euwals et al., 2006).

It is expected that an increased flexibility and higher employment rates will result in increased labour participation rates for males and females, which is a necessity to overcome the increasing costs of an ageing society.

Multidimensional poverty risk of vulnerable households in Indonesia

•September 12, 2012 • 3 Comments

Since transition, there has been divergence between economic and human development in each region in Indonesia, which gives rise to question whether the use of a multidimensional approach instead of a financial assessment of poverty leads to a different identification of vulnerable socio-demographic groups. Moreover, every province of Indonesia is very diverse, which suggests that the relation between socio-demographic household characteristics might vary between different regions in the country.

Ellis (2000) developed a theory which is based on the capabilities approach as developed by Sen in 1983. This approach to assess human well-being evolved from the basic needs approach, and rejects the use of an objective financial cut-off for poverty, and a focus on only physical assets and the utility gained by individuals. The focus of the capability approach is on the ability to act and views commodities as means, not as ends to achieve a certain standard of well-being. The livelihood framework distinguishes assets, access, and activities, which together determine the living gained by an individual or household. Another alternative approach to measure well-being is by using subjective well-being or life satisfaction, which originates on the work of Easterlin (1974) who linked psychology to economics. Subjective well-being is also viewed as an household asset, and is with other (more objective) indicators of household capabilities integrated in a multidimensional well-being index.

The construction of the multicomponent index is based on earlier work of Klasen (2000) and Guio (2005). Research of the World Bank (2000, 2005) showed that well-being problems in Indonesia are mainly linked to housing and (semi-)public services, such as health care, education, and utilities. Moreover, studies by a.o. Bezemer (2006) and the World Bank (2005) show that women, children, elderly, and households in rural areas are vulnerable groups in Indonesia. Other research by the World Bank (2006) adds that there is a concentration of deprivation in secondary cities. Moreover, vulnerable households tend to be trapped in bad general living conditions with restricted access to improvements in their well-being situation. Further, some sociological case studies by Smith et al. (2006, 2008) and Stenning et al. (2007) show that low welfare is strongly connected with low skill, bad health, unemployment, and old age in poor areas. Moreover, Smith (2000, 2003) finds that regional welfare is strongly connected with industrial activity and high skill levels.

Financial poverty is defined as an inadequate level of income to satisfy basic material needs. Multidimensional poverty (or deprivation) is defined as an insufficient level of capabilities to meet basic needs. For both poverty and deprivation, a 40% and 20% cut-off point is used to compare the vulnerability of households based on both measurements of well-being. 

Kompas stated that for many households financial poverty and deprivation do not overlap necessarily. With a lower poverty line, the overlap between the two different poverty types is even smaller (relatively). The relation between poverty and deprivation ranks of households is also quite weak. This is in particular the case for the worst-off households in Indonesia.
Besides the obvious differences in poverty and deprivation rates between the regions, the differences between the poverty rate and the deprivation rate in each region is surprising. The ‘richer’ regions have a relatively high deprivation rate, while the poorest regions experience a deprivation rate that is low in relation to their financial poverty rate. 

Social inequality and public health

•September 10, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The negative effects of inequality became a hot topic among epidemiologists and other social scientists after the landmark book ‘Unhealthy societies: the afflictions of inequality’ by Wilkinson in 1996 arguing that unequal societies are simply unhealthier for their members. Since then socio economic inequality has been blamed with bringing many miseries: shorter life expectancy, higher rates of disease, homicide, infant mortality, obesity, teenage pregnancies, emotional depression and crime, poor education standards, lower social mobility (Wilkinson, Pickett, 2009), higher prevalence of smoking and sedentary lifestyle (Diez-Roux et al, 2000, cited by Kawachi et al, 2003), less trust within the society (Elgar, 2010) and lower social capital (Kawachi et al, 1997, cited by Salverda et al, 2009).

Social inequality has been growing steadily in all modern societies since 1970s (Beck, 2007; Beck & Poferl, 2010; Grusky & Kanbur, 2006; Korzeniewicz & Moran, 1997; Morris & Western, 1999, cited by Castillo, 2011, Subramanian and Kawachi 2004, cited by Torre & Myrskylä, 2011). It has been increasing rapidly in such important cases as China, the U.S.A. or the former Soviet bloc (Babones, 2009).

However, while those more deprived were willing to tolerate the differences during the economically good times it is now changing. During the recent economic recession the contrasts between the upper social class and the lower social class appear to be unacceptable to many (Dorling, 2012).

The recent developments show how inequality is becoming more of an issue: the social inequality is addressed often as an important problem by politicians and media (Miller, 2012). Social inequality does undermine the social cohesion and trust most of the questions about the deleterious effects (among them those on the public health) of inequality still remains open and very controversial. Since 1996 the association between inequality and public health has generated a vast body of research with no definite general conclusions. Since then it has remained highly ideological it has received a lot of attention not only from academia but also from the general public.

Various public health indicators were previously related to social inequality, most usually life expectancy, mortality or their derivatives (for instance, a dispersion measure that equals the average expected lifetime lost at death (Shkolnikov et al, 2011)) but also disease rates, disabilities, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, depressive symptoms, per capita expenditures on protection and medical care, self-rated health (Kawachi et al, 2003). All of them have their drawbacks. Life expectancy, mortality or self- rated health seem to be the most comprehensive but it has been argued that self- rating of health is far from objective. For example, people in Jakarta, the most upper social state in Indonesia reported having poorer health levels than in more deprived state of Bandung which could refer both to subjectivity of health rating and to confusion between mortality and morbidity (Sen, 1999, cited by De Maio, 2008). Self- rating is problematic for the reason that poorer people tend not even to be aware of some disorders they have, e.g. hypertension (Johnston et al 2007, cited by Salverda et al, p.393).

Life expectancy or mortality numbers however do not say much about the health of the living (Salverda et al, 2009, p. 393). A time lag has been often used to account for this assuming that the harm to the public health is reflected in the mortality numbers after a certain number of years. There exists, of course, a big variation in the duration of the lag making it impossible to pinpoint when the effects of inequality manifest (Zheng (2012) argues that the effects of inequality are the strongest after 7 years but remain significant up to after 12 years) and primarily depends on the nature of the disease. It can be argued however that the mortality developments are usually smooth and gradual and strongly correlated to those of earlier years (further here the time lag is not used to enable easier comparability between all- cause mortality and external- cause mortality where the effects are assumed to be contemporaneous).

More recently the specific reason of death have been started to be researched more deeply offering more precision in unmasking the pathways in which the inequality manifests. This is done for a number of reasons. Firstly, if the mortality is dominated by one or a few main causes (e.g. hart and coronary diseases, a common dominant cause of death) the existing effects on other causes of mortality might be left unobserved. Secondly, different causes of death respond differently to inequality. Some might be more sensitive than the others, (e.g. in the common practise it is known that for example alcohol while being a risk factor for some diseases can also alleviate others), and therefore analyzing all- cause mortality only masks the true effects of inequality (Spijker & van Wissen, 2010).

Thus besides all- cause mortality also external- cause mortality is used further in this research. The external causes of death include (according to WHO mortality database ICD10) death from transport accidents, falls, accidental drowning and submersion, exposure to smoke, fire and flames, accidental poisoning by and exposure to noxious substances, intentional self-harm, assault and other.

Analysing external cause mortality with regard to inequality is extremely relevant as it seems to be very sensitive to the socio- economic and political changes (Peck et al, 2007). As the name itself indicates, the reason of death lies by definition outside the person affected. The social instability seems to correlate with the deaths rates due to injury, an example of this is the fluctuations in mortality immediately prior and after the reformation era. Another example is change in mortality in the post- new orde after the transition to the reformation era.

The age- standardized mortality increased 33% for men in Indonesia 1999-2010 and mortality from injuries constituted one third of the decrease in life expectancy (Peck et al, 2007). As mentioned previously, psychosocial factors are assumed to play an important role regarding the external- cause mortality as the external causes of death are often associated with aggression, violent behaviour, inadequate risk taking, drugs/ excessive alcohol consumption or negligence: factors that are more of psychosocial than biomedical (as for most of the other causes of death) nature.

The effects of inequality and mortality are examined separately for genders, age groups and causes of death. The differences in mortality between men and women are well known which applies for both external and internal reasons mortality (Krugger & Nesse, 2006). As long as no artificial barriers for women are created (e.g. infanticide, neglecting the female children) women tend to live longer, especially in developed countries where the risk of dying due to reasons related to maternity are low (Omran, 2005).

The differences in mortality are partly explained by the theory of sexual selection. Males (especially the young males) compete for the females, often engaging in violent and risky behaviours creating real threats for their lives. (Krugger & Nesse, 2006) The competition (and the mortality) gets harsher if the stakes are higher, e.g. under the circumstances of polygyny ((Plavcan, 2000; Plavcan and van Schaik 1997; Plavcan, van Schaik,and Kappeler 1995, all cited by Krugger & Nesse, 2006) an analogy to which of course in this case would be high inequality.

Even in the modern humans’ societies high social status increases the chances to find a mate more for men than for women. Besides in the societies with the man as the bread winner model men feel more responsibility to maintain or improve the socioeconomic status of the family (Torre & Myrskylä, 2011) and thus are more subject to the adverse effects of inequality.

Examining the effects of inequality on external- cause mortality gender is extremely important. Besides the theoretical reasons the empirical external- cause mortality data also shows an age- sex pattern distinct from that of other causes (Jakubonienė et al, 2010) which cannot be explained in terms of the development level of the region and is likely to be determined by the societal environment.

In previous studies that have discovered correlation between income inequality and health outcomes there were different opinions on if the relationship is causal (Babones, 2008, Mellor & Milyo, 2001, de Maio, 2012). It has been often argued that both inequality and public health depend on the same underlying factors (Salverda, et al, 2009, p.385, Babones, 2008). Cultural and historical factors determine the distribution of the income in a country. The income distribution systems grown organically from the environment and it would be too easy to think that Indonesia would be just like Malaysia was only the income distribution changed (Saunders, 2010).

There has been a variety of the underlying factors determining both the inequality and the public health suggested: level of trust in the society as the level of trust in the society in negatively associated with inequality and positively associated with better public health (Elgar, 2010); IQ: more intelligent societies both create more egalitarian societies and are healthier (Kanazawa, 2006). The latter was severely criticised, for instance Marks described Kanazawa’s data as ‘allegedly supporting a racist version of evolutionary psychology’ (2007). According to Mellor & Milyo, inequality in different contexts can be related with both better and worse population health.

In the light of the psychosocial interpretation it can be assumed that the underlying factors can be the traits and predispositions of the society that determine how it accepts and deals with the economic inequality. The social justice ideas the society holds, the power distance and masculinity dimensions in its culture (as described by Hofstede, 1980), the political and economic regime (e.g. a socialistic versus aristocratic or plutocratic) can determine what perceptions and psychosocial reactions are then formed in response to a given inequality (Paškov, 2008).

Competitiveness Index

•September 9, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The attention to competitiveness of a region has not decreased for recent decades. The aspects of competitiveness gradually become one of the main parts in regional development strategies. A lot of regions are looking for perspective niches where they should or could increase their competitiveness and develop themselves economically and socially contemporaneous. One of the most important
stages in strategic planning as well as presumption of the improvement of regional competitiveness are the measurement of present competitive position and potential of a region.
Despite the increasing number of scientific works on regional competitiveness issues, the researches about the techniques of measurement of regional competitiveness are still lacking, especially in Indonesia. Though, the composite indices are considered to be one of the methods
to analyse the problem in a complex way, the methodological aspects of the measurement of regional competitiveness by a composite index have been analysed very little in scientific literature. The indices of national competitiveness (Growth and Business Competitiveness Indices of World Economic Forum, World Competitiveness Index of International Institute for Management Development) have been formed and widely applied in the world, but they are generally intended for the measurement of the competitiveness of a country. There is the lack of the researches about theirs’ possibilities of application in the measurement of competitiveness within a country. Hence,
a regional competitiveness index (RCI), which would be grounded methodologically and would enable to measure the competitiveness of regions within a country is still missing. Lack of a means of complex measurement of competitiveness is becoming one of the obstacles which prevents from measuring a competitive potential of a region and forming effective strategies of increase in competitiveness.

The competitiveness of a region can be measured in different ways: analyzing one or several factors of competitiveness, using theoretical models of competitiveness, creating composite indices, etc. The analysis of the main problems of regional competitiveness measurement (Simanaviciene, et al., 2007, Kitson et al., 2004, de Vet, et al. 2004, Huggins, 2003, Lengyel, 2003) showed, that competitiveness cannot be completely defined by one or several economic and social indicators. Thus, complex measurement of competitiveness is a must. The researches proved that the measurement by a composite index helps to solve the problem of complexity. A group of scientists (Giovannini et al., 2005, Saisana et al., 2005, Wignaraja et al., 2004, IMD, 2004, Freudenberg, 2003, Huggins, 2003) defines a composite index as an artificially made-up instrument of quantitative and qualitative measurement of a particular sphere. The index consists of sub-indicators; hence, the objects under examination can be ranked on the ground of it. It is emphasized that multi-criteria conceptions (e.g. competitiveness, industrialization, coherence, the integration of markets, the development of knowledge society, etc.) are measured by the index most accurately as they cannot be measured by a single index only. The critical analysis of the measurement by the index has induced to distinguish its advantages and drawbacks. However, it envisages more advantages than drawbacks of it. It is predicted that indices will continue to be widely applied in the future in the measurement of multi-criteria conceptions because of the benefit which indices provide as a means of conveyance and analysis.

The analysis of scientific literature (Bowen et al., 2005, WEF, 2005, Giovannini et al., 2005, Wignaraja et al., 2004, IMD, 2004, Huggins 2003, Booysen, 2002, Lall, 2001 a, b, Huovari et al., 2000, 2001) let summarize the stages of index calculation: forming the theoretical model of a problem, normalizing, grouping and weighting the indicators, calculating the index and analyzing the uncertainty and sensitivity of the index. 

In scientific literature the formation of a theoretical model of a problem was not attributed to the stages of the formation of the index, hence, a number of scientists do not mark it at all. The authors of the article are of the opinion that a theoretical model is the basis of the formation of the methodology for index calculation as well as for the grounding of its clarity. Thus, it is considered to be a separate stage.
In pursuance of the comparison of data expressed by different units of measure, indicators are normalized. In the calculation of indices different methods of data normalization are applied. The most frequent methods are the following ones: a standard deviation from the mean, a distance from a minimum and a maximum value and a distance from a group leader or an average. The biggest number of discussions among scientists was caused by the stage of the determination of weight coefficients.
Houvari et al. 2001, 2000, and Sachs et al. 2001 have emphasised the fact that it is difficult to form the substantiation of the measurement of weight coefficients or all variables are provided with the same weight coefficients with no reason (IMD, 2004). Meanwhile Saisana et al., 2005, and Freudenberg, 2003, Booysen, 2002 point out that different weight coefficients enable to calculate competitiveness index more precisely as well as provide indicators with weight coefficients of different value (WEF, 2005).

Methodology of regional competitiveness index 

The analysis of the main problems of regional competitiveness measurement (Simanaviciene et al., 2007) has enabled to determine that the method of regional competitiveness measurement has to meet the following requirements:
– The requirement of complexity, i.e. competitiveness has to be analysed in a number of different aspects by the method which is being used. In addition, a group of competitiveness factors as well as indicators defining them has to be also included into the process of measurement.

– The requirement of reliability, i.e. the method which is being used has to be founded both methodologically and statistically. 

– The requirement of comparability, i.e. the comparison of competitiveness among different regions and with regard to time has to be possible. 

– The requirement of simplicity, i.e. results acquired have to be clear and easy for interpretation, i.e. measurement by the index, meets all the requirements mentioned above.

The principle of complexity is assured by the fact that competitiveness is measured not by a single or several economic and social indicators, but by a number of them included in the structure of the index. The principle of reliability is assured by the fact that the stage of the formation of regional competitiveness model is included in the calculation of the index when a model grounded methodologically as well as the stage of a robustness and sensitivity analysis are formed. The principle of comparability is assured by the fact that indices are calculated both for separate regions and for different years. The principle of simplicity is assured by the fact that competitiveness is measured by a single value which reveals a number of different indicators. Hence, it provides an opportunity to rank regions both according to a group of indicators and separate indicators.
The research carried out by the authors of the article has proved that in scientific literature competitiveness is analysed in a number of ways: according to separate macro-economic indicators, indicators of activity of firms or separate sectors, policies carried out by the authorities, conditions which make firms be competitive or combine several aspects under discussion at the same time. Snieška and Šliburytė, (2000) measure the competitiveness of the territory by the competition intensity level in a different market, others (Kvainauskaitė, Snieška (2002), Kvainauskaitė et al., 2003) – by business structure or market demand, still others (Maksvytienė, Urbonas, 2001) – by the course of exchange, norms of interests, balance of foreign trade, technological innovations, while Snieška and Drakštaitė (2007) – by outsourcing of knowledge process. Snieška et al. (2002) proved that the cluster based approach in the implementing policy can increase regional competitiveness and speed up economic development. Startienė and Genytė (2004) were evaluating the competitiveness of milk processing sector by two levels: macro environment (distant, general or social environment) and by factors excluded in Porter‘s model.
Rutkauskas (2008) defined the competitiveness of a region as a three-dimensional indicator, which depends on the fields of activity, dominating in the country, international economic relations and legal, financial, ecological, natural resources and geographical location environment competitiveness. The research carried has proved that the selection of competitiveness factors depends on the methodology chosen previously.

While identifying factors of regional competitiveness, peculiarities of regional competitiveness (Porter (1990), Cho (1994), Cho, Moon (1998)) and competitiveness within the country (Martin et al. (2003), Lengyel (2003), de Vet et al. (2004)) were also considered which could be applied in the measurement of regional competitiveness.

With reference to Rugman et al. (1998) model of “Double Diamond”, they have divided factors of regional competitiveness into four groups: factors of conditions of production, demand conditions, factors increasing competitiveness of regional firms and factors conditioning the development of regional clusters.
With regard to the fact that a region is an open and lively system, factors of competitiveness are also analysed in inner and outer aspects of a region. A reciprocal effect on regional competitiveness made by both external environments (such as political, economic, geographical-natural, socialdemographic, cultural and technological) and general competitiveness within the country and other regions is also distinguished in the model of “Regional Diamond”.
Despite the fact that these aspects are not included in the measurement of regional competitiveness by RCI, their influence is estimated indirectly via factors of regional competitiveness and its capability to use opportunities provided by these factors to strengthen its own competitiveness. Inclusion of external environments, common competitiveness within the country and competitiveness among other regions of the country shows a complex view to the measurement of competitiveness.

The results of the expert evaluation and calculation of RCI according to the factors of Indonesian regions largely coincide and specify each other. It is identified, that the structure of inhabitants’
age and qualification, infrastructure of studies and science, ITT, the desire for knowledge of local consumers, the extent of export markets and prominence of region in international markets make the biggest influence on competitiveness of Indonesian regions. The strengthening of competitive advantages of firms and maximum fulfilment of consumers’ needs and opportunity adaptation
to changeable conditions are the main factors of competitiveness of regional firms. GDP per capita and the number of economic entities in operation per 1000 population have the biggest influence on the results of measurement of factors increasing competitiveness of firms by RCI. Close cooperation of business, science and the authorities, infrastructure which is widely developed and adapted to the activity of a cluster are the main factors conditioning the development of regional clusters in Indonesia.


Civil Registration: Comparison in Indonesia and The Netherlands

•September 8, 2012 • Leave a Comment

A country’s social economic development is derived from universal quantified indicators that differentiate the various stages of demographic, health and human development transitions. Consider the following; Demographic transition is founded on tracking changes in fertility and mortality (D. Kirk 1996); The epidemiological transition is measured by health status, specifically by infant mortality, life expectancy and leading causes of death (Omran 1998); Human development is measured by indicators of quality of life including; life expectancy, probability of surviving beyond age 40 and total fertility rates (UNDP 2005). These quantified indicators have necessitated establishment of data sources that provide comprehensive, accurate and timely data to inform the countries’ research and development processes. In most countries of Europe, civil registration and population register system of population counting are used as sources of data (Euro Stat 2003). A characteristic of these data sources is that they are inbuilt in basic administration of the population where data collection and utilization form part of the daily lives of the population at the individual and national level. In Asia such data sources that penetrate daily lives of the population are
lacking or inadequate (Lancet, 2007).
The United Nations Statistics Division has long recognized the importance of civil registration in production of complete, accurate and timely demographic data to help national governments alleviate social economic inequalities and thereby steer national social development progress (UNSD 2001:1). Subsequently UNSD has made efforts to encourage national governments to establish, manage, operate and maintain civil registration data methods through provision of financial and technical support. Bogue et al (1993) has utilized reports by the UNSD (1987) on improvement of civil registration in developing countries in a comparative study of major data methods. Bogue et al (1993) observes that civil registration and other data sources should be fully developed in order to serve growing and varied needs of research and development. Bogue et al submitted that none of the three data sources, census, surveys and civil registration can fulfill all data needs on its own and their complementary roles should therefore be strengthened. It has however been observed that improvement of civil registration as a data source has either not started in many countries or has altogether stagnated in those countries that attempt to establish the system (Bogue et al(1993), lancet 2007).

Here, I’d like to focus on a comparative analysis of context and system of production of demographic data by civil registration and how they influence the quality of civil registration generated data out. According to United nations recommendations on vital statistics (2001), civil registration and vital statistics is a responsibility of national governments and that the system must operate in away responsive to the social cultural milieu of the country. The system provides legal records to guide administration and access to individual human rights.
United Nations recommends utilization of data generated by civil registration for production of demographic data to aid social development planning (UN2001). United Nations further recommends gradual development of civil registration for production of demographic data from basics to more advanced data sets according to country’s data needs and capacity to produce the data. System of civil registration on the other hand refer to the core enablers of civil registration which the United Nations identify as characteristics of civil registration, legal framework, organization, human resource capacity, technological capacity and the quality of generated data. The administration and individual level relevance are examined as unit enablers of civil registration and demographic data to enable consolidation of their location in civil registration and demographic data. The two units are discussed in United Nations recommendations as themes in organization and this main streaming, this posits has reduced the weight of administration and individual level relevance in civil registration in actual implementation of the recommendations.

Civil registration
United Nations Statistics Division defines civil registration as ‘‘continuous, permanent, compulsory and universal recording of the occurrence and characteristics of vital events pertaining to the population as provided through a decree or regulation in accordance with the legal requirements in each country’’ (UN 2001:301). UNSD further defines civil registration data method to refer to “the procedure employed in gathering the basic information on the incidence of vital events and their characteristics which occur to the population of a country within a specified time period ,upon which vital records with legal value are prepared and vital statistics based” (UNSD 2001:302).
United Nations notes that the uniqueness of civil registration lies in the fact that, not withstanding the valuable analytical purpose of other data sources, none of the other data methods can meet the legal purpose of safeguarding the individual human rights with respect to social status and benefits simultaneously with demographic purpose (UNSD 2001:309).
Although many countries have some system of civil registration, improvement of this data method has been slow and erratic causing the United Nations to prioritize improvement of civil registration data method, a millennium challenge (UN2001:42).
United Nations recommend that a system of civil registration should include all ‘institutional, legal technical settings needed to perform the civil registration function in a technical, sound and coordinated and standardized manner through out the country taking in to account cultural and social circumstances particular to a country’( UNSD 2001:306).
I’ll try to consider the social cultural political and economic context of civil registration, institutional, legal technical settings as the factors of civil registration and demographic data in Indonesia and in the Netherlands.


Population registration was introduced for the first time in Indonesia by the British rule in 1815. The system was primarily designed to register the population in each village, its changes through births, deaths and migration, and it was backed by Police Regulation (Politie Reglement). The system was still used by the Dutch with some modifications to register ethnic groups, to cover also the Europeans (Staatblad No.25, 1847), the Chinese and other foreigners (Staatblad No.130, 1917).
The Dutch Government had tried hard to improve the system, including the improvement of the forms, the field organization and data processing. In 1929, the Dutch Government introduced for the first time a new system to register vital events in Yogyakarta (Staatblad No.751, 1920 and Staatblad No.564, 1927) for the Indonesian and later it was extended to other parts of Java and Madura (Staatblad No.75, 1933 and Staatblad No.607, 1936). The vital events were registered by the village headmen using a three part form
(triplikat) which includes fairly detailed information on the characteristics of the vital events and the parents or decedents.
After the proclamation of independence in 1945, the registration systems originated during the Dutch rule were continued. Currently, the registration are carried out by a number of government departments,namely the Department of Health, of Justice, of Religion and of Interior. The Department of Health is mainly responsible for registration of vital events occurring in hospitals. Unfortunately, there are no formal tabulations or publications of the results from this system so that it is difficult to estimate the coverage of the births and deaths.
Since there is no legal requirement for this registration and because of severe weaknesses in the system, it is probably safe to assume that the system is severally deficient and not viable as a basis for measuring level of fertility and mortality in Indonesia. The activities of the Civil Registration Offices, under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice, dating back to the late 19th century, were mainly to register vital events for selected sub-group of the population, particularly foreigners and very recently the activity of this office is extended to register all vital events and to issue certificates for the entire population (President Instruction No. 31/U/In/12/1966). The registration of marriages, divorces and reconciliation for the Moslem population is still under the jurisdiction of the Department of Religion (UNSTAT, 1993).

All the registration systems are incomplete. As the results, the systems are not fully adequate either as a legal system for establishing rights and privileges or as a statistical basis for measuring levels and trends of fertility and mortality. In recent years, there has been increasing awareness of the need to improve the existing vital registration system and to develop civil registration into a viable system for measuring changes in the size of the population and its distribution.


In the Netherlands, civil registration is a component of population register system of population accounting, which is the default source of population statistics (CBS Netherlands 2000). Civil registration data method is used together with migration statistics to update the population register of the Netherlands.

There are certain similarities, although remote, on civil registration data method between Indonesia and the Netherlands. Both countries have established civil registration systems which date back to more than 100
years ago (Gill and Rono 1989, Brekel; 1977). The civil registration systems in the two countries is coordinated and supervised by popularly elected government for the benefit of the population. Government commitment in improvement of civil registration data method in the two countries can also be observed with the establishment of a legal and organisation structure for civil registration.

Both countries have elaborate administrative setting to ensure accessibility and availability of civil registration to the population with agencies closest to the population recording occurrence of events as and when they occur. In the two countries at one point in their history there was an abuse of registration system by foreign invading authority to commit human rights against segments of the population. 


1. Social economic differences

Geographically, Netherlands is in Europe while Indonesia is in South East Asia. Netherlands is ranked 3rd (United Nations Human Development Index, 2011) while Indonesia is ranked 124th.
According to WHO, Netherlands is among the countries submits to it comprehensive population health data population while Indonesia is among developing countries that submit data based only on estimates (WHO 2003, Lancet 2007).

2. Difference in System of civil registration

The United Nations (1999) defines a System of civil registration “a system of civil registration includes all institutional, legal technical settings needed to perform the civil registration functions in a technical, sound, coordinated and standardized manner through out the country taking in to account the cultural and social circumstances to the country” (UN1999: 305). 
In Indonesia Civil Registration data method is one of many systems of population registration, relies on loosely defined sector wide collaboration for data collection, is not integrated to the national statistical system and lacks data processing capacity (obtained from Population and Civil Registration Office). Civil Registration in the Netherlands is integrated in to the population register system of population accounting and stringently enforced legal framework.
In Indonesia, a central government ministry is charged with the responsibility of coordination and supervision all civil registration activities in the country. However this ministry does not have a local network to facilitate information gathering and relies on other two ministries to record occurrence of events through out the country. The relationship between the coordinating and supervising agency on the one hand and the agencies carrying out the  recording of births and deaths on the other is not legally binding. Migration is operated as a separate unit from birth and death registration and the two have no operational links except belonging to the same ministry. There is also no link between the national agency for civil registration and the country’s central bureau of statistics. At the same time the national agency for civil registration has inadequate technological capacity to derive demographic data from the registers of births and deaths. The civil registration system is a component of the population system of population counting and is decentralized to the municipalities and integrated to CBS Netherlands. The municipality register is updated by civil registration and migration. The collaboration among the agencies involved in this system of population accounting including specific duties and responsibilities are laid out in a legal framework. Although both Indonesia and the Netherlands have a legal framework for civil registration the context and content differs. 

In the Netherlands civil registration is carried out within the context of Population Register Act which provides for; the criteria for inclusion in and removal from registers, the nature and particulars to be entered, the collaboration between the municipalities, the legislation concerning the population’s notification duties and the setting up of the government inspectorate of population registers (Brekel 1977. This law also provides how collected data is used and specifies authorization for such use (Prins 2000). 

In Indonesia civil registration is one of disparate population registration systems and is administered vertically by the department of civil registration. In the Netherlands civil registration is embedded in population register and integrated to the national statistical systems to enable the national statistical system take responsibility of production of demographic data.

In Indonesia an informant has a total of six months within which a birth should be reported to the recording authority and three months for reporting a death. There are also at least thirty days before the recorded event is submitted to the district civil registration office while the preparation of the register for data compilation takes another minimum of three weeks. In total there may be an official lag of eight months between occurrence of an event and production of data.
In the Netherlands a birth must be reported three working days after occurrence while a death must be reported immediately. Migration must be reported within three weeks of arrival to the Netherlands and also before departure. Compilation and publication of the data is done six weeks after the end of the month implying a six week lag.
This difference in the reporting of events in the two countries is because reporting period in each country is designed to accommodate various factors like transport, remoteness of some areas and the need for universal registration which vary according to the social development of a country. The delay in reporting may have am impact on accuracy and timeliness of the final demographic data.

In Indonesia a birth is registered at the place of occurrence and this is where the birth record is maintained. The details recorded are the minimum recommended by United Nations 1999. Only one record is created in duplicate for both legal and statistical use. The record is not linked to any other record on the individual. Even where a person whose birth is registered dies and although the records may be in the same registry the two events are not linked. In the Netherlands when a birth occurs, it is reported to the municipality of residence of the parents. Where a birth occurs outside this municipality, the created recorded is transferred to the municipality resident of the parents. Data collected is comprehensive and provides a link
between the child and the parents through a personal number. Once this personal card or record is created it becomes the default reference record for this individual till death.
When a death occurs at home an informant declares the death to the local administrator (assistant chief) and makes a verbal autopsy as well. In the communities that dispose the body immediately after death, disposal may take place before declaration of the death to the authority. In other nomadic areas, the community relocates from the place when a person dies, leaving the body behind. In other words although it is obligatory to get a disposal permit before disposing the body this is not always followed. The same form for declaring the death also indicates the cause of death. When a death occurs in a health institution a doctor or medical personnel with delegated authority certifies the death and the cause of death in a
duplicate form. A burial permit is issued at the hospital. 

In the Netherlands, when a death occurs at home a doctor confirms the death and also fills in a confidential form on the cause of death. A relative, a coroner or a person occupying the house where the person dies delivers the forms to the municipality in exchange of a disposal permit. The same applies when a death occurs in a hospital. Sometimes two doctors may confirm a death, a family doctor as well as a duty doctor.

3. Quality Demographic Data out put
The loosely defined organisation of civil registration has been an obstacle to completeness of civil registration. Lack of adequate human resource and technological data processing capacity coupled with lack of integration to the national statistical system has hindered full utilization of the civil registration records for the production of accurate and timely demographic data. The loose organisation of civil registration in Indonesia has led to inadequate utilization of the political and administrative structures of the government to derived demographic data from civil registration data method.

In the Netherlands the linking of civil registration to municipality population register and the CBS Netherlands has ensured that each agency takes responsibility in activities where such agency has comparative advantage in civil registration for production of demographic data and other purposes. Reports and interviews held in the Netherlands indicate that though no external audit has been done on data derived from civil registration, there is strong conviction that this data is of very high quality. The shortcomings are
addressed by factors developed over time In a data on births and deaths is derived from the legal registers and compiled in to summaries. The data on births is tabulated according to place of occurrence, age group and marital status of the mother and sex of the child. The four variables used to tabulate data on birth make it difficult to edit and track for errors and inconsistencies. Data on deaths is also compiled from the legal death register and aggregates compiled according to month, cause of death age group and sex of the disease and also in 10 year age groups except for deaths of infants below one year old and those from 1 to four completed years. Compilation of the data on causes of death is as reported on the legal form and there is no further coding. As is the case with births tabulation of deaths by age group sex and cause of death is also complex and prone to errors which are however difficult to trace. Indonesia recognises production of data by civil registration as a key government function and this data is compiled regularly across the country and submitted to national office. However, although there has not been any independent evaluation on the quality of civil registration data, the country considers the data incomplete and is never disseminated.
In the Netherlands, here is a mechanism for editing and querying in place to ensure data is complete in individual statistical reports and as aggregates. Data is processed from individual statistics reports and it is always possible to track back discrepancies to the particular statistical reports and to identifying the source of such discrepancies.

The purpose of civil registration is to produce personal legal records and also to use these legal records to derive demographic data. It has been recommended that Confidentiality of the data is guaranteed without the same confidentiality deterring use of this data for demographic purpose (UNSD 2001).

Lack of adequate human resource and technological data processing capacity hinders full utilization of the civil registration records for the production of accurate and timely demographic data.
At the same time civil registration is embedded to daily lives of the population by a structure that has; legal foundation, and which utilizes comparative advantages of various government agencies in a legally coordinated way is effective in delivering a complete, accurate and timely default demographic data source for administration, planning and research. Production of demographic data by civil registration has also been shown to benefit from integration of civil registration system with the national statistical system of a country.

Government commitment in policy and practical strategies to ensure civil registration method realizes comprehensive accurate and timely data is required. In this regard it has emerged that the legal framework on civil registration must be comprehensive and responsive to the needs of the population with roles, responsibilities at individual and agency level clearly defined. The structure of civil registration should reflect the interagency collaboration and legal obligations. While the legal framework and organisation structure lay the foundation, it is the stringent administration of civil registration data method that ensures continuous sustainable improvements in production of demographic data by this method. Enforcement of the law and establishment of incentives targeting individuals and agencies reinforce compliance with
the law at all levels and contributes to universal civil registration and comprehensive demographic data outcome. 

The other recommendation is that it is important that the production of demographic data by civil registration should incorporate editing, evaluation procedures and a strict schedule for publishing data to sustain desired quality of demographic data output.
The critical role of effective administration of civil registration has emerged strongly in this study, reinforcing previous observations that commitment to long term improvement in civil registration requires governments demonstrate commitment in policy to embed civil registration to national well being, economic and social progress.

Eindhoven CS experience

•December 26, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Hi there, it’s been a long time no write on this blog

I’ve just had my holiday in Italy for 4 days.. well, actually it’s not the entire of Italy,

it was started from bergamo – verona – milan – venice – milan (san siro) – back to groningen (the one that I mentioned the last is not in Italy :D)

arrived at bergamo airport at 10 am

after 1 and an half hour in plane..

haha, there was a funny story that we never expected before.

when we arrived at eindhoven central station (we planned to stay here until the next morning), a guy who is an officer at the station expelled us (well, actually not that bad) he was telling us that we can’t stay at the station because it will be closed at 1 am and will be opened at 4 am..


what the hell?

at night

yeah, unlucky for us, since it was snowy, it was 1 am, and (I had an idea) it would cost much expensive

damn, I only got 250 euros cash in my pocket.


we just walked out the station, asked a taxi driver where is the nearest hostel, because our bus will depart at 5.43 from CS to the airport.


yeah, it was a hard walk because it was snowy, everywhere I step my foot, the snow was always against my eyes.. what are you? Hi, I’m snow (heeh, nevermind)


finally we arrived in front of the hostel, even we confused before and got lost where the main entrance was, hihi


uhuy, we got an hostel, and it was 35 euros per night per person! what the f***?!
it was just 4 hours inside!

yeah guys, expect the unexpected.. that’s a journey

since it was too expensive (for me) so I had to try to get sleep on that expensive cost bed with the expensive cost blanket without thinking this hostel was very expensive!

and I slept at 2, and woke up at 4. That time was very unfair for 35 euros! I really demand my money back ;(


we got ready and walked to central station (and of course we met the officer who dumped us before) and it was very cold


we waited for the very cute bus (I think) and we had to pay 3 euros!

what an expensive cost.. you should know hey driver, that in Groningen you just have to pay for 1,5 euros and you can have a tour in groningen city..  Someday I will guide you a tour 😀


we arrived at the airport

and we didn’t know what to do (hihi, seemed like the first time we arrived at the airport)

thanks god, people in the Netherlands are speaking english very well and they are really helpful

we checked in and we found out that people going by ryan air brought  very big bags not like what the rules said

hedehh.. it tuns out that not every dutch people obey the rules :p

waited while sleeping, hihi.. we only slept for 4 hours! and it costed us 35 euros




you may sit wherever you want after the first for rows..

hah?? yep, with its motto, flying with fare rates so don’t get surprised with what you will find out when you are inside

so, why there is a number of seat on the boarding pass? hehe.. had no clue gans 😀


okay, we found seats for 3.. and we fell asleep.. and we fly to Bergamo, Italy..




Hakuna Matata