Further readings on Singapore’s development strategy, and how the economy will be affected by the pandemic, issues raised in the “Beyond the pandemic” webinar on 1 May 2020.
On the global limits to Singapore’s development strategy
I mentioned that economists have for some time noted that Singapore’s state-directed, multinational-led, export-oriented, import-intensive economic development model cannot continue in this era of de-globalization which predated the pandemic. I explained the global constraints in this 2015 article, an abbreviated version of which was last reprinted in 2019.
Linda Y.C. Lim, “Beyond the ‘Global City’ Paradigm”, Ch. 4 in Su-fern Hoe and Carol Soon (eds.), Singapore Perspectives 2015: Choices, Singapore: World Scientific and Institute of Policy Studies, 2015, pp. 51-89. http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/9669. Reprinted as Ch.5 in Linda Y.C. Lim, Business, Government and Labor: Essays in the EconomicDevelopment of Singapore and Southeast Asia, Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2018, pp. 105-136 http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/10576 Abbreviated version published as “Singapore in the next 50 years: Singapore in the International Economy” in Euston Quah (ed.) Singapore 2065, Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2015, pp. 151-155 https://www.worldscientific.com/doi/10.1142/9789814663380_0029 and as Ch. 16 in Insights on Singapore’s Economy and Society from Leading Thinkers: Singapore Perspectives, Singapore: World Scientific Publishing and Institute of Policy Studies, 2019, pp. 143-181 https://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/11402
On labor and productivity
This development model involving prolonged heavy dependence on imports of foreign labor and skills to attract foreign investment has contributed to low productivity growth and low real GDP growth in recent years, as elaborated here.
Pang Eng Fong and Linda Y.C. Lim, “Labor, Productivity and Singapore’s Development Model”, Special Issue on A 50-Year Retrospective of Singapore’s Economic Development, Singapore Economic Review Vol. 60, No. 3 (2015), https://www.worldscientific.com/doi/10.1142/S0217590815500332. Reprinted as Ch. 7 in Linda Y.C. Lim (ed.), Singapore’s Economic Development: Retrospection and Reflections, Singapore, World Scientific Publications, 2016, pp. 135-168 https://www.worldscientific.com/doi/10.1142/9789814723473_0007 and as Ch. 6 in Linda Y.C. Lim, Business, Government and Labor: Essays in the EconomicDevelopment of Singapore and Southeast Asia, Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2018, pp. 139-175.
On COVID-19’s impact on the world and Singapore economies
COVID-19 will change the world economy in particular ways, and thus Singapore’s role in it, particularly accelerating forces of de-globalization and increasing pressures for greater state social spending.
Linda Lim, “COVID-19: It’s the Economy”, March 15, 2020 https://www.academia.sg/academic-views/covid-19-its-the-economy/
Linda Lim, “The end of ideology”, Straits Times, April 8, 2020 https://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/the- end-of-ideology
Linda Lim, “COVID-19’s implications for Singapore’s future economy”, April 13, 2020 https://www.academia.sg/academic-views/covid-19s-implications-for-singapores-future-economy/
On Singapore’s fiscal position
In response to a question from Cherian George, I briefly explained how government surpluses and foreign reserves come about. Manu Bhaskaran and I are working on an article on this topic, for Academia.SG.