Singapore’s poor productivity performance


Academic Views

Private sector economists Manu Bhaskaran and Nigel Chiang argue that in both labour and total factor productivity, Singapore is under-performing relative to trading partners, peers and OECD countries, reflecting deep and systemic issues in the economy, especially in sectors where an over-reliance on labour force growth through migrant labour has affected incentives to invest. This is […]

November 20, 2020

Special Topics: A minimum wage


Special Topics

In this module of the AcademiaSG Special Topics series, we present a carefully curated selection of the key research and analysis relevant to the concept of a minimum wage in Singapore. Most of these articles can be accessed for free, but we have indicated where a few are behind paywalls. What economists think about a […]

September 18, 2020

Security and independence are basic needs


Academic Views, Coronavirus, GE2020

Teo You Yenn, Ng Kok Hoe, Neo Yu Wei, Ad Maulod and Stephanie Chok of the Minimum Income Standard research team suggest that security and independence need to be centred in the ongoing public conversation—boosted by the General Election—about basic needs. Political parties contesting in the 2020 General Election have pledged to address inequality and […]

July 1, 2020

Re-imagining skills development in Singapore


Academic Views, Coronavirus

Arthur Chia, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Adult Learning, Singapore University of Social Sciences, argues that a more worker-centric approach to skills development is needed in Singapore. The history of skills development in Singapore’s industrial planning In Singapore, public investment in education, training and lifelong learning initiatives have primarily sought to equip students and […]

June 26, 2020

Labour in Singapore’s post-COVID-19 economy


Academic Views, Coronavirus

Economists Pang Eng Fong and Linda Lim (emeritus professors of strategy at the Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University, and the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, respectively) discuss the implications of the COVID-19 crisis for the position of migrant labour in Singapore’s economic model. Samantha Teresa, SMU BBA […]

June 2, 2020

Rethinking costs and the social compact


Academic Views, Coronavirus

Elvin Ong, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for Southeast Asia Research at the University of British Columbia and Overseas Postdoctoral Fellow at the National University of Singapore, argues that reform of the economy—including to reduce dependency on low-waged migrant labour—should be done on a progressive basis. Over the past few weeks, Singaporeans have been actively […]

May 22, 2020

Government surpluses and foreign reserves in Singapore


Academic Views

Manu Bhaskaran (CEO of Centennial Asia Advisors) and Linda Lim (Professor Emerita at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan) argue that Singapore would benefit from a slower pace of reserve accumulation. Many Singaporeans think that the government can engage in massive, even “generous”, deficit spending to rescue citizens, businesses and the […]

May 4, 2020

Beyond the pandemic: efficiency, resilience, justice


Academic Views, Coronavirus

Donald Low, Professor of Practice in Public Policy at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, argues that Singapore must look beyond a narrow focus on efficiency, and give greater weight to considerations of resilience and justice. Over the last 30-40 years, most economies have prioritised efficiency or economic growth over considerations of resilience […]

May 1, 2020