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Singapore's economic development: Four lessons and some doubts

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  • W. G. Huff

Abstract

This paper uses a variety of data to take a close look at what lessons can be adduced from Singapore, often regarded as the world's most successful economy or even a miracle. There are indeed lessons from Singapore's remarkable growth, but the most interesting are those rarely, if ever, identified as such, which stem from government's central role in the economy. Although Singapore's economic record makes it a model to which many countries aspire, total factor productivity growth has been low. That finding, together with the particular nature of Singapore's state-directed economic growth, create some doubts as to whether an economy able to sustain high living standards in the long term has yet been fashioned.

Suggested Citation

  • W. G. Huff, 1999. "Singapore's economic development: Four lessons and some doubts," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(1), pages 33-55.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:27:y:1999:i:1:p:33-55
    DOI: 10.1080/13600819908424165
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nelson, Richard R & Pack, Howard, 1999. "The Asian Miracle and Modern Growth Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 416-436, July.
    2. James R. Hines, Jr., 1996. "Tax Policy and the Activities of Multinational Corporations," NBER Working Papers 5589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Edgar C. Schein, 1996. "Strategic Pragmatism: The Culture of Singapore's Economics Development Board," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262193671, January.
    4. Rodrik, Dani, 1997. "TFPG Controversies, Institutions, and Economic Performance in East Asia," CEPR Discussion Papers 1587, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Easterly, William & Fischer, Stanley & DEC, 1994. "The Soviet economic decline : historical and republican data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1284, The World Bank.
    6. Alwyn Young, 1998. "Alternative Estimates of Productivity Growth in the NICs: A Comment on the Findings of Chang-Tai Hsieh," NBER Working Papers 6657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mani, Sunil, 2000. "Exports of High Technology Products from Developing Countries: Is it Real or a Statistical Artifact?," UNU-INTECH Discussion Paper Series 1, United Nations University - INTECH.
    2. Peter Wilson & Gavin Peebles, 2005. "Don’t Frighten the Horses – the Political Economy of Singapore’s Foreign Exchange Rate Regime since 1981," SCAPE Policy Research Working Paper Series 0506, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics, SCAPE.

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