How to transpose your rich data into panel (Data Stacking / Transpose)


If you are in finance research area, and you are using panel data, the most annoying part is stacking/transpose your time series into panel data. Hereby, I give you the macros in excel (even though I know many software such Tableau can do it faster) to do in a click.

Yet, when you want to run it, adjust it with the number of your column. Mine is 6, and the data that has to be stacked/transposed is from column 2. Therefore, the i = 2 to 6.

Happy trying

Copy paste this to your macros (open your excel –> view –> macros –>view macros –> create –> copy paste –> run)

Dim rng As Range
For i = 2 To 6
Set rng = Range(Cells(1, i), Cells(1, i).End(xlDown))
rng.Cut Cells(Rows.Count, 2).End(xlUp)(2)
Next i
End Sub


Game of Academic Publication: A Memo for Indonesian Lecturers


“Publish or perish” is a famous jargon in academia world, and yet, it is not well-known among Indonesian lecturers. Questions such “Why should we publish?”, “Why Scopus?” or “What is impact factor?” are common questions asked by Indonesian lecturers in facing a recent research regulation imposed by Indonesian higher education ministry.

Interestingly, the recent incentive scheme from the ministry, which will give Rp50 Million to Rp 100million per publication, attracts many attentions of Indonesian lecturers. The criterion is pretty easy: has impact factor than 0.1 and cited more than 3 times (for the Rp50million). Surprisingly, this criterion creates noise on social media among Indonesia lecturers. It goes to one conclusion which is many of Indonesian lecturers are still illiterate about the game of publication, and perhaps, the minister may also mislead this game of publication.

The main question in this game of publication is “why should we publish?” Idealistically, the findings of research are to improve the society. If there is no research about polio vaccine or green energy, what the world would be. Yet, this ideal situation has changed into a strange new direction. It forces academia to publish and publish for the sake of quantity. Look at the new regulation, such as professors have to have two publications, or doctorate candidate has to have one publication, or even undergraduate has to publish nowadays. Why? It is simply because of the university ranking game. Publish or perish.

For example is Malaysia. The Malaysian government chases the number of publications because university ranking is one of the KPIs for their higher education ministry. Malaysian government aims to have their universities in the top 100 universities in the world, and this plan is well arranged in their 2015-2025 blueprints. To achieve the objectives, Malaysian higher education (MoHE) invested Rm4.3billion (approx USD1billion) in the higher education sector from 2007 to 2013 with the output of quantity and quality research publications. The result is surprisingly good for Malaysia, where 3 Malaysian universities in top 300, and 4 universities are in top 50 for the category of under 50 years university.

Note that to achieve the stage of world class university, Malaysia has to go through different level of academic publication game. For example, in early 2000s, the lecturers were imposed to publish in any index journal. In the mid of 2000s, the lecturers were forced to publish in Scopus index journal only. The last phase is in 2012, the game is changed to impact factor journal publication. Malaysia does not jump directly to enforce lecturers publishing in certain index such Scopus. Malaysia also does not force their doctoral candidate to publish at least one nor undergraduate to publish. It needs patients in this publication game.

Yet, Indonesian government has forced their lecturers (including students) to publish, and it has to be Scopus Index journal. Interestingly, there are not many Indonesian lecturers knowing what Scopus is, but it already a consensus that lecturers have to publish at Scopus index journal or at impact factor journal. So, what is Scopus? Why Scopus? What is impact factor?

Scopus is only bibliographic database used as indexation for librarian. Indeed, there are many indexation companies such as Ebscohost, Cabell’s, Proquest, etc. But why have to be scopus? First, many countries use QS ranking as the benchmark of university achievement. In this QS ranking, research is one of the criteria. To measure the research dimension, QS ranking uses Scopus as the benchmarks. This means that number of publications and number of citation for QS ranking is based on those journals that indexed in Scopus. This leads many governments encourage their academicians to publish in Scopus so their university ranking will increase.

What is impact factor? It is a measurement to show the magnitude of research quality by quantifying the number of citation. The widespread impact factor used is ISI web of knowledge (WoS) and Scimago Journal Report of Scopus (SJR). Indeed, there are many companies offering other types of impact factors such as Universal Impact Factor (UIF) or Global Impact Factor (GIF), but Indonesian higher education minister has to stand still and encourage the lecturers to aims only and the only impact factor from WoS or SJR. Why? because of the game of university ranking. The QS ranking will count the quality research based on the number of citation of those impact factor journals from Scopus. Hence, does Indonesian higher education use QS ranking as benchmark, so it forces Indonesian lecturers to publish in Scopus and impact factor journal? Does Indonesian higher education have really thought about this?

Another important note in this game of publication is predatory journals. There are many journals out there claiming as the fast publication, and as long as the lecturers pay certain amount of money it will get published. Some of those journals are Scopus index journals, and some of them are impact factor journals. This bogus journal asks around USD100-USD1000 for publication fee. It is important for Indonesian higher education ministry to identify these journals, and make black-listed journal lists to ensure the quality of the research. The common practice worldwide is following what so called as Beall’s list which is coined by Jeff Beal of Colorado University. The current black list of Indonesian higher education has to be improved. Moreover, this list has to be broadened not only to open-access journal, but also close or pay-per-view journal.

Presuming the Indonesian higher education minister has the blueprint in chasing Top 100 universities in the world based on QS ranking, there are several important notes for the minister. First, to achieve the world class university, it is not only about publication, but also incentives and compensation. Those top 200 universities has a total annual income of more than USD750 thousands per academics, and the total research income is more than USD230 thousands per academic. In terms of staffing, the student-to-staff ratio is 11:1, not 40:1 like in Indonesia. Moreover, those top 200 universities hire more than 20% international lecturers, and have more than 19% international students. This implies that it is need a huge investment for Indonesia to achieve this top 200 universities ranking, and it is not solely due to publication.

Additional note for Indonesian lecturers is that having high impact factor does not mean our research have high impact to the community. To have impact to the community is still through good teaching. This publication thingy is only a university ranking game. Please do not forget the main objective of being lecturer is educating the society for a better world. Yes, we can publish in an impact factor journal, but teaching is not less important than publication.

So, should we publish?

Corporate Political Investment 101


This upcoming Indonesia presidential election presents the issues of corporate political investment. For instance, many Islamic-based media and blogs accuse that one of the candidates, Joko Widodo, is prepared by catholic-Chinese group to be the next president for the sake of business interest. Similar condition is also faced by another candidate: Prabowo Subianto, where there are anonymous bloggers argued that gigantic corporation and corruption case-linked corporation are supporting him for the sake of penalty-free or legal suit-free. In short, whether it is right or gossip, there is an accusation of corporate involvement in the presidential election, which is well-known as corporate political investment.

What is corporate political investment? Does it true exist? How will it affect the election? What are the benefits of political investment for firms? This writing is corporate political investment 101 (for beginner) which introduces the corporate political investment by exploring its definition, its effects on politics and presidential campaign, and its cost-benefit for corporation.

Political investment is not a brand new story. The example is the case of James Riady and US presidential campaign in 1996. James Riady was indicated, pleaded guilty to campaign violation, and had to pay 8.6million dollar. In China, more of China’s wealthiest people choose to involve in Communist Party politics. Wall Street Journal reported that 160 of China’s 1,024 richest people, with a collective family net worth of $221 billion, hold important role in the party. The recent Ukraine case has also strong association between political ties and corporate interest of Germany corporations and its government. While Angela Merkel tried to give sanction over Russia due to their dispute against Ukraine, corporations persuaded her to postpone it. The reason is simple and straightforward: German businesses and politicians have worked hand-in-hand to improve ties with Russia for decades for obtaining access to the giant market to the east. As a result, Germany became Russia’s most important Western business partner.

Political investment is not always about giving money directly and explicitly to politician. It can be referred to the activity of a corporation by taking high-level political leaders such as congressman, senator, relatives of president as the board member or top management. This investment is not always about number of money inflowing to the politician’s pocket during or after the campaign. Giving money to politician is considered as bribery, and it violates the regulation. Further, the amount of money given to politician is limited to certain number as it is regulated by law.

There are many benefits of this political investment for corporations, such as inducing firm’s performance, financing channeling, crisis first-aid, etc. In terms of performance, many research papers found that politically connected corporation experienced a good performance if the supported candidate won the election. An empirical research from Taiwan documented that politically connected corporations tended to have higher abnormal returns before the fall of status quo (Kuomintang Party) in 2004. However, after the 2004 election, this pattern of stock returns was reversed, where the politically connected corporation which pros to status quo dropped resulting negative abnormal return, meanwhile, corporation that attached to opposition (Taiwan Democratic Progresive Party) gained abnormal returns. Similar condition also found in Indonesia in the era of the falling regime of Soeharto. Professor Christian Leuz from Wharton School and Professor Felix Oberholzer-Gee from Harvard business school found that those corporation that closely related to Soeharto had enjoyed good performance before 1998, but underperformed and faced financial distress under the new regime and subsequently increased their foreign debt as the source of financing.

There are also studies showing the benefit of political investment in terms of financing ease. For instance, study in Brazil shows that corporations do not only experience higher stock prices, but also substantially increased their bank financing and channeling afterward. This implies politically connected corporation would have ease-to-finance facilities as the result of the investment during the election.

Political investment also associates with corporation survival during crisis. Heather Mitchell from RMIT Australia shows that Malaysian politically invested corporation suffered more during the crisis but benefited more when capital controls were introduced during the 1997 Asian currency crisis and imposition of capital controls. Another study documented also politically connected corporations were significantly more likely to be bailed out than similar non-connected corporations. Interestingly, politically invested corporation were disproportionately more likely to be bailed out when the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank provides financial assistance to the corporate’s home government.

Relate back to Indonesia presidential campaign, corporate political investment is more to ethical issue rather than legal issue. Peter Gourevitch, a Professor of Political Science from University of California, argued that the ties between corporate and politic might not up to the regulatory change. With a good monitor and control, political investment only gains the cronyism capital and all financing ease. It will be also valuable and worth to target companies that have political connection as it will add value to your stock investment.

So, if you are a global investor willing to make investment in a specific corporation, in a specific country, it is very important to figure out if the corporation is politically connected. Those politically-invested corporations might give you abnormal return, low cost of capital, and crisis prudent condition. However, you also have to take into account the corruption factor at the country level because it will be less transparency at the corporation level too. This may lead you to an even higher impact on future uncertainty.

How ethic’s political investment? Based on the code of conduct of good corporate governance, Political investment violates the principle of “integrity and ethical behavior” meaning that corporation has to be free of interest in choosing corporate officers and board members. As the one who formulate the regulation is politician, it will be very hard to find a country that would forbid political investment. Therefore, instead of accusing the presidential candidate about political investment, it will be more interesting to dig further about this matter from both Prabowo and Jokowi. Just to see whether they oppose it or support it.

Politik Kebencian


Kampanye pemilihan presiden (pilpres) Indonesia sudah dimulai. Setiap calon presiden (capres) mencari cara untuk menarik suara rakyat Indonesia agar dipilih pada tanggal 9 Juli mendatang. Apa lacur, bukan adu argumentasi atas visi, misi, atau rencana strategis pembangunan Indonesia yang ditonjolkan, tetapi serangan personal, mulai dari latar belakang agama, sejarah masa lalu, atau pun kepahaman atas perihal teknikal administrasi Negara. Sun Tzu dalam art of the war menuliskan “Untuk memenangkan pertempuran, Jika lawan adalah orang yang mudah marah atau tersinggung, berusahalah untuk mengganggu dia. Berpura-puralah menjadipihak yang lemah, supaya ia bisa tumbuh sombong dan kehilangan akal”. Apakah strategi politik kebencian ini yang sedang dimainkan kedua capres?


Sejarah Kebencian

Sejarah menunjukan kebencian adalah awal dari setiap perang besar. Kebencian kurawa terhadap Pandawa menghasilkan perang kurusetra. Kebencian terhadap kaum Yahudi menghasilkan holocaust anti-semit di 1930an. Kebencian terhadap hegemoni Amerika Serikat menghasilkan peristiwa 9/11 World Trade Centre. Kebencian antara suporter tim sepak bola Liverpool dan Juventus menghasilkan insiden Heysel 1985. Kebencian terhadap ketimpangan sosial terhadap etnis Tionghoa menghasilkan kerusuhan 97/98.

Apa yang menyebabkan kebencian? Studi di psikologi menunjukan kebencial merupakan hasil dari simpati atau respon terhadap tindakan buruk di sisi korban. Fehr and Schmidt (2001) menegaskan bahwa kebencian adalah output dari keinginan untuk menghukum orang-orang yang berperilaku tidak adil. Ketidakrasionalan ini lah yang menjadikan kebencian sebagai produk promosi para politisi dalam kampanye.

Kebencian sebagai Strategi Promosi

Studi di bidang pemasaran menunjukan kebencian dapat menjadi strategi pemasaran yang baik. Contohnya saja, Klein et al (1998) membuktikan sentimen penduduk Cina terhadap Jepang akibat ekses dari perang dunia yang menghasilkan keengganan penduduk Cina menggunakan produk Jepang. Setali tiga uang dengan riset tersebut, studi dari Singapura oleh Ang et al (2004) juga menunjukan tingkat kebencian yang besar terhadap produk-produk Jepang oleh penduduk Korea, atau terhadap produk-produk AS oleh penduduk Indonesia akibat peristiwa Krisis Moneter dan invasi Israel di Palestina.

Studi tersebut konsisten dengan kasus-kasus riil yang ada. Misalnya, gerakan nasionalis penduduk Negara Cina melawan Jepang yang dimulai dari tahun 2011 membuat penjualan mobil Jepang di Cina menurun drastis. Gerakan boikot “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction” (BDS) terhadap Israel membuat masyarakat London mencabut iklan turisme Israel, dan memaksa Dexia, perusahaan keuangan Belgia-Perancis, memberhentikan jasa keuangan untuk Israel. Lebih ekstrim lagi, sengketa Vietnam-China di Laut Cina Selatan, tidak hanya sekedar memboikot produk Cina, tetapi sampai memboikot bekerja di pabrikan milik negeri tirai bambu tersebut. Kasus-kasus tersebut menguatkan bahwa kebencian dapat menjadi strategi pemasaran yang efektif.

Penggunaan kebencian sebagai bagian dari kampanye politik sudah digunakan juga oleh beberapa Negara. Misalnya saja Malaysia yang menggunakan pertempuran rasial sebagai media kampanye politik. Begitu juga dengan Australia menempatkan isu kebencian terhadap imigran sebagai isu untuk menarik massa. Perancis juga menggunakan isu “budaya dan agama” untuk menempatkan posisi di hati para pemilihnya. Pilihannya menjadi pilu dan tragis: “kamu benci dia, kamu pilih saya”. Karena keterikatan emosional dan irasionalitas, pemilih pun termakan oleh strategi ini.


Kebencian dan Politik Indonesia

Politik kebencian sebenarnya bukan hal yang baru di Indonesia. Contohnya saja, grasak-grusuk FPI atas kehadiran anggota DPR RI dari PDIP, Ribka Tjiptaning Proletariati, sebagai keturunan PKI. Ada juga menyebar kebencian atas nama agama, seperti penolakan terhadap Basuki Tjahaja atau lebih dikenal sebagai Ahok ketika masa kampanye pilkada gubernur DKI yang lalu. Untuk kasus Sumatera Utara, pilkada gubsu kemarin sempat dihebohkan oleh spanduk-spanduk tidak bertanggungjawab yang mengajak orang Melayu untuk tidak mencoblos calon tertentu. Begitu juga dengan pilkada bupati Karo 2010 yang dihebohkan oleh kampanye hitam untuk tidak memilih pasangan tertentu karena takut dominasi suku tertentu di Kabupatan Karo.

Begitu juga di kampanye pilpres kali ini. Kubu Jokowi-JK dihantam dengan isu-isu boneka, antek asing, Islam-KTP, atau pun keturunan Cina. Kubu Prabowo-Hatta dihantam dengan isu-isu duda, HAM, atau bahkan mismanajemen hutang. Tujuannya hanya sekedar menimbulkan prasangka buruk, kecurigaan, penolakan, dan kebencian terhadap calon tertentu. Logikanya sederhana: kamu benci capres itu, kamu jangan pilih dia, tapi pilih jagoan saya.

Bagai bola liar yang panas, rasa benci itu menggelinding kemana-mana. Media sosial pun menjadi sarana terbaik menyebarkan rasa benci ini dan berhasil mengkotak-kotakan pemilih. Ada grup pendukung setia pasangan Prabowo-Hatta, ada juga grup pendukung setia pasangan Jokowi-JK. Bukannya menyebarkan visi-misi-renstra calon yang mereka dukung, tapi menyebarkan segala informasi yang boleh membuat orang lain membenci rival calon mereka.

Lalu siapa yang diuntungkan oleh politik kebencian ini? Tentu saja yang paling diuntungkan oleh politik kebencian ini adalah para politikus di lingkar 1 capres tersebut karena jagoan mereka menang. Usai pilpres ini, kita semua kembali menjadi warga Negara biasa, yang memang terbiasa dibuai oleh janji para politikus.

Siapa pula yang dirugikan oleh politik kebencian ini? Kita! Kita warga Negara biasa yang dirugikan. Dukungan kita yang berlebih terhadap calon tertentu dapat menghilangkan silaturahmi dengan orang lain atau kawan kita. Kenapa? Karena kita sudah mengotakan diri di kotak satu, sementara kawan kita berada di kotak kedua. Lebih ekstrimnya lagi, politik kebencian ini berpotensi mengakselerasi bentrokan antara kedua pendukung di lapangan. Belajar dari peristiwa-peristiwa sebelumnya, pendukung salah satu calon pemimpin menjadi lebih sensitif ketika berhadap dengan pendukung lain terutama jika jagoannya kalah. Tentu kita masih ingat kasus Empat Lawang, Probolinggo, ataupun Palopo. Bayangkan saja kemungkinan yang akan terjadi jika rasa tidak siap kalah itu ditambah dengan politik kebencian.

Stop Politik Kebencian

Lalu, apakah solusi untuk politik kebencian ini? Pertama, adalah tugas pemerintah, terutama Depkominfo, untuk mengedukasi para pemilih untuk tidak terlarut dalam politik kebencian ini. KPU dan Banwaslu juga pro-aktif bukan saja mengedukasi masyarakat tentang politik yang santun, tetapi juga mengingatkan, mengawasi, dan mengambil tindakan terhadap kedua tim kampanye untuk bermain lebih sopan dengan mengedepankan etika, sopan santun, dan norma. Tentu saja, kedua kandidat presiden beserta tim kampanyenya harus sadar tentang dampak dari Politik Kebencian ini. Bagaimana mungkin kita memilih pemimpin bangsa yang suka menyebarkan kebencian?

Solusi terakhir dari politik kebencian datang dari diri kita sendiri. Pertama, mari hentikan partisipasi dalam menyebarluaskan kampanye hitam. Jika kita masih ragu informasi itu benar atau tidak, atau apakah sumber berita kredibel atau tidak, lebih baik kita tidak ikut di arus politik kebencian. Tahan diri kita. Kedua, jika kita sudah memiliki jagoan untuk pilpres mendatang, mari kita sebarkan visi-misi-renstra dari capres kita, lalu secara argumentatif yang baik dan santun, kita adu dengan capres yang satu lagi. Terakhir, kita hukum capres yang memainkan politik kebencian sebagai isu sentral kampanye mereka dengan tidak memilih pasangan capres tersebut. Mari kita dewasa dalam berdemokrasi, berpartisipasi secara santun dalam prosesnya, dan tolak politik kebencian!

PhD student Candidate in Faculty of Economics and Business Universiti Malaysia Sarawak



I purposely write that so someone who are aiming to pursue PhD in Malaysia can see me. Because there is no my name in faculty website so far. So, at least, this is the way to know others that I am exist. haha


My research area is Experimental Economics, Behavioural Finance, Carbon-emission Economy and Corporate Governance. The subjects are such Political Connection, Ownership Expropriation, Behavioural Asset Pricing, Impact of Carbon policy, Impact of carbon footprint, mood and consumption, etc. Hopefully, someone out there read this and pursue his/her study in Sarawak under me. Haha

my email is



The Abracadabra Doctorate


There is nothing wrong with graduating as doctoral degree within 1.5 years. I, myself, personally congratulate General Wiranto for his achievement in finishing his doctoral degree within 1.5 years.

Daniel Kahneman, a nobel winner for economy field in 2002, finished his doctoral study within 3 years from University of California. There are also nobel winners who need more than 3 years in finishing the doctoral degree (for example is Robert Laughlin who won physics noble). The length of study taken to finish a doctoral degree does not associate to the level of intellectual.

Doctoral degree is so far the most prestigious degree of formal education. Those who earn this doctoral title are perceived as “a genius”. Academician aims it for further promotion (being a professor). Non-academician, for instance politician, uses it for self-branding.  Thus, what doctorate really means?, what is abracadrabra doctorate?, and what is the value of doctorate? Continue reading

Membongkar Dilema Upah Buruh


Wokeh… tulisan ini dibuat pas maraknya upah buruh…Banyak seh yang nyinyir apakah upah buruh harus naik atau kagak. Untuk tau lebih jelasnya baca di

Tulisan ini dimuat di Koran Analisa tanggal 7 November 2013

Membongkar Dilema Upah Buruh

oleh Rayenda Brahmana

Dilema upah dapat didefinisikan sebagai masalah yang timbul antara keinginan buruh untuk menaikan upah dan keinginan pemerintah untuk meningkatkan pertumbuhan ekonomi melalui iklim usaha berbasis upah kompetitif. Demo buruh di Cikarang baru-baru ini adalah contoh yang baik untuk mendeskripsikan apa itu dilema upah. Continue reading