Singapore

Date of publication
June 2013
Geographical focus

The results of this paper challenge the
conventional wisdom in the literature that productivity
plays no role in the economic development of Singapore.
Properly accounting for market power and returns to scale
technology, the estimated average productivity growth is
twice as large as the conventional total factor productivity
(TFP) measures. Using a standard growth accounting
(production function) technique, Young (1992, 1995) found no
sign of TFP growth in the aggregate economy and the
manufacturing sector of Singapore. Based on Young's
results, Krugman (1994) claimed that there was no East Asia
miracle as all the economic growth in Singapore could be
attributed to its capital accumulation in the past three
decades. Citing evidence on nondiminishing market rates of
return to capital investment in Singapore during the period
of fast growth as an indication of high productivity growth,
Hsieh (1999) challenged Young's findings using the dual
approach. But all of these papers maintained the assumptions
of perfect competition and constant returns to scale and
used only aggregate macro-level data. Kee uses industry
level data and focuses on Singapore's manufacturing
sector. She develops an empirical methodology to estimate
industry productivity growth in the presence of market power
and nonconstant returns to scale. The estimation of industry
markups and returns to scale in this paper combines both the
production function (primal) and the cost function (dual)
approaches while controlling for input endogeneity and
selection bias. The results of a fixed effect panel
regression show that all industries in the manufacturing
sector violate at least one of the two assumptions. Relaxing
the assumptions leads to an estimated productivity growth
that is on average twice as large as the conventional TFP
calculation. Kee concludes that productivity growth plays a
nontrivial role in the manufacturing sector.

Date of publication
August 2012
Geographical focus

Health care costs are escalating rapidly
in many countries. While many factors contribute to rising
costs, health insurance plays a part by shielding patients
and physicians from the real cost. In an effort to contain
costs, governments, employers, and insurers have modified
payment schemes and coverage, often leading to rationing and
restricted consumer choice and in some cases to denial of
care. Singapore is unique among developed countries in
achieving excellent health outcomes at a low economic cost.
Part of its success may be attributable to its health
financing system, which combines individual responsibility
with targeted subsidies. Despite Singapore's small
size, with only 3.2 million residents in a land area of 660
square kilometers, the country has been a stellar economic
performer, rising from impoverishment only 40 years ago. Its
per capita GDP, US$427 in 1960, rose to US$24,740 in 2000,
one of the highest in the world. Singapore's health
indicators are equally impressive. Its average life
expectancy increased by 15 years from 1960 (63 years) to
2001 (78) and is now one of the world's longest. Its
infant mortality rate is the world's lowest, at 2.2 per
1,000 live births, much improved from 6.6 in 1990 (and 34.9
in 1960) and far lower than rates in most other countries.
Both the public and the private sector provide health care
in Singapore. The public sector provides 20 percent of
primary care and 80 percent of hospital care through two
integrated care networks. The private sector dominates
primary health care, providing 80 percent through its 1,900
clinics. The 13 private hospitals account for 20 percent of
inpatient admissions. Singapore has 11,800 hospital beds
(3.7 per 1,000 people).

Date of publication
June 2012
Geographical focus

This paper looks at Singapore's efforts to transform the economic growth base from one that is predominantly efficiency-driven to one that is more innovation-driven. To accelerate the transition process, the government is aggressively investing in "innovation infrastructure"-systems and institutions that make the city a more conducive environment for innovations. The modus operandi, with a distinctive "winner-picking" flavor, mirrors that of its earlier strategic industrial policy in building up the manufacturing sector. It is also in sync with the new urban growth literature which argues that the success of any innovation-driven growth strategy depends on a city's ability to attract a large community of creative individuals in different fields. Innovation infrastructure building requires more than putting in the right systems. It also requires a mindset change at various levels of society. This paper looks at how the government's policy philosophy and practices have evolved over time, and discusses the effectiveness of the government-led, strategic supply-push approach in propelling Singapore onto an innovation-driven growth path. It takes into consideration the city-state's underlying comparative advantages (or disadvantages) and asks how Singapore's existing strength in efficiency infrastructure may give it a first mover advantage in attracting creative talent, how its success may be affected by the small size of the economy, and the various political and social constraints that a small sovereign city-state faces. These issues are explored against the backdrop of the keen competition among the major cities in the region to become an innovation hub.

Date of publication
January 2015
Geographical focus

This economy profile for Doing Business
2015 presents the 11 Doing Business indicators for
Singapore. To allow for useful comparison, the profile also
provides data for other selected economies (comparator
economies) for each indicator. Doing Business 2015 is the
12th edition in a series of annual reports measuring the
regulations that enhance business activity and those that
constrain it. Economies are ranked on their ease of doing
business; for 2015 Singapore ranks 1. A high ease of doing
business ranking means the regulatory environment is more
conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.
Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business
regulations and the protection of property rights that can
be compared across 189 economies from Afghanistan to
Zimbabwe and over time. Doing Business measures regulations
affecting 11 areas of the life of a business known as
indicators. Ten of these areas are included in this
year's ranking on the ease of doing business: starting
a business, dealing with construction permits, getting
electricity, registering property, getting credit,
protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across
borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.
Doing Business also measures labor market regulation, which
is not included in this year's ranking. The data in
this report are current as of June 1, 2014 (except for the
paying taxes indicators, which cover the period from January
to December 2013).

Geographical focus

These Rules prescribe survey fees payable to the Authority upon any request by a registered surveyor for services in relation to survey work or any query made by the Chief Surveyor.

Geographical focus

This Act provides for the urban and not only land development in Singapore, the responsibilities of the land tenants and owners, the planning of construction, restoration or building activtities, the imposition of land fees for the further use and exploitation of land in the territory of Singapore. The Act includes the following Parts: I, Preliminary; II, Master Plan And Conservation Areas And Guidelines; III, Development And Subdivision Of Land; IV, Enforcement; V, Development Charges; VA, Temporary Development Levy; VI, Recovery Of Moneys; VII, Recovery Of Moneys; VIII, Transitional And Saving Provisions; I,II,III Schedules.

Geographical focus

This Act provides for the urban and not only land development in Singapore, the responsibilities of the land tenants and owners, the planning of construction, restoration or building activtities, the imposition of land fees for the further use and exploitation of land in the territory of Singapore. The Act includes the following Parts: I, Preliminary; II, Master Plan And Conservation Areas And Guidelines; III, Development And Subdivision Of Land; IV, Enforcement; V, Development Charges; VA, Temporary Development Levy; VI, Recovery Of Moneys; VII, Recovery Of Moneys; VIII, Transitional And Saving Provisions; I,II,III Schedules.

Geographical focus

This Act provides for the establishment of the Singapore Land Authority and consists of 7 Parts: Preliminary (I); Establishment, incorporation and constitution of authority (II); Functions, duties and powers of authority (III); Provisions relating to staff (IV); Financial provisions (V); Transfer of property, assets, liabilities and employees (VI); and Miscellaneous (VII).

Geographical focus

This Act provides for the establishment of the Singapore Land Authority and consists of 7 Parts: Preliminary (I); Establishment, incorporation and constitution of authority (II); Functions, duties and powers of authority (III); Provisions relating to staff (IV); Financial provisions (V); Transfer of property, assets, liabilities and employees (VI); and Miscellaneous (VII).

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