IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Governance, leadership and economic growth in Singapore

Listed author(s):
  • Venu Menon, Sudha
Registered author(s):

    Although Singapore inherited the same British model of governance as other Commonwealth states, its governing system has become widely known for efficiency and competence, especially in terms of its role in generating an “economic miracle.” Economic growth has remained consistently high—at an average annual rate of 9.8 percent in the 1970s and 8.2 percent in the 1980s. Between 1988 and 1997, its Gross Domestic Product or GDP increased more than 2.5 times; between 1993 and 1997, it continued to rank very high in terms of its business-friendly environment; and by 1994, its per capita GDP (US$20,000) surpassed that of Australia, Canada, and the UK. These state-led economic achievements make Singapore a good case for studying contemporary reforms in governance based on the principle of the rolling back of the state’s economic management. While most countries have adopted the above mentioned business oriented governance reforms due to the alleged inefficiency and mismanagement of the public sector, the Singapore government has introduced such reforms despite its efficient and well-managed public sector. Moreover, although many developing countries with heavy external debt have adopted privatization and deregulation, liberalized trade and investment, and restructured their state bureaucracy according to the principles of the “New Public Management” (NPM), often in response to conditions imposed by international aid agencies, Singapore is virtually free from external debt and thus free from such direct external pressure to adopt these reforms.Against this context this article tries to explain the role of governance and leadership in administration which fostered economic growth in Singapore. Singapore governance system has been consistently rated by Transparency International as one of the most politically transparent and least corrupt governments in the world, but is also often being criticized for excessive interference in social issues.The article highlights how rapid socio economic transformation and quality of life was made possible through the ruling political party’s [PAP] brave attempt to liberalize the economy and attract foreign capital through various measures. The pervasive role of government is visible in all aspects of economic life in Singapore making it classic example of the direct relationship between transparency and economic development.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 4741.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 28 Aug 2007
    Date of revision: 02 Sep 2007
    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:4741
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany

    Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2459
    Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-992459
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:4741. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.