The Economic Foundations of the Singapore Story

This course takes a multi-disciplinary, practitioner-driven approach to analyse Singapore’s public policies. It does this by integrating and applying three conceptual lenses, namely standard economics, the cognitive sciences, and organisation behaviour. We will first examine policies in Singapore through the lens of market failures and how economists have traditionally viewed the role of governments. We then examine the cognitive limits of economic agents and consider how behavioural economics offers the possibility of better policy design by taking into account people’s cognitive biases and limitations. In the third segment, we analyse the Singapore government through the lens of organisation behaviour. Throughout the course, we apply these lenses to various policy successes and failures in Singapore.

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