Economics

Was George Akerlof Right on the Market Failure of Asymmetric Information?

The law of gravity works everywhere on our planet. Yet at some places, gravity doesn’t work. Few people know this. For some strange reasons, people and objects start floating into space. It is annoying and very dangerous and requires action by authorities. Physicists call this phenomenon Gravity Failure. If you think this sounds like total…
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Why The Answer To Climate Change Is Not Going To Come From Government

Why Government Isn’t The Answer To Climate Change In response to a contribution on TODAY by Adam Smith Center Director Bryan Cheang on the recent climate rally in Singapore, one writer kindly offered a rebuttal of his own. According to his own bio, Bertrand Seah is a political science graduate in NUS and a member…
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The Problem With Singapore’s First Climate Rally

The Problem With Singapore’s First Climate Rally Environmental activism today is in vogue. Climate change protests have been going on for years in the West. Yet it was only this past weekend where the importation of such Western-style activism to Singapore’s shores saw an officially organised, wide-scale effort. For that reason, it is worthwhile considering…
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What Makes Singapore’s Healthcare System Successful?

Since 2012, the UN has touted the lofty policy goal of universally accessible, high-quality and affordable healthcare to nations everywhere. Three years later, the UN put in place a finish line for this goal in the year 2030, and in 2017 continued to urge the pursuit of this goal for governments everywhere. As the annual…
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Why Be Sceptical of Big Government?

Sometime back, I spoke in a talk about the politics & economics of climate change. When I brought up the dishonesty of Climategate (surprisingly, only 1 out of an audience of 30-40 heard of it), the impression that some got was that I was attempting a broad-sweeping smear of the progressive environmentalist agenda by the…
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A Historical Impact of the Internet on Democracy

There is no rest for the Big Tech corporations of today. A growing animosity toward Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon has gained mainstream traction, seen by increasingly louder calls by activists and politicians from across the political spectrum to regulate tech markets. This phenomenon – commonly referred to as “techlash” – is a bipartisan policy…
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Can Markets Bring Relief From Disasters?

As hurricanes have hit the US, a debate has been raging over the role of markets and governments in disaster prevention and post-disaster relief. Only this week, the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz pointed out what he described as an “obvious lesson”, which was that “markets alone won’t protect you” from natural disasters. This, he explains, is…
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What About Monopolies?

One of the main criticisms levelled against the free market is the concept of market dominance, or market power. Free markets are great, but they often lead to the accumulation of power by certain firms, who end up as monopolies, or so the argument goes. One firm may eventually end up gobbling other smaller ones,…
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Lee Kuan Yew liked Fredrich Hayek. Do you?

Former Prime Minister and Founding Father of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew, we can all agree, was an intelligent, well-read man who saw Singapore through its turbulent years. It would be interesting to explore some of his intellectual influences and whether they hold any relevance for us today. Significantly, Lee was a strong supporter of the…
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Why Lee Hsien Loong Is Absolutely Right On Inequality

Income and wealth inequality is recognised as a big problem around the world today. It is perceived to have contributed to the backlash against globalisation in Western countries, the rise of populism amongst the electorate. The World Economic Forum identifies rising inequality as a big threat against the world economy. In Singapore, there is a growing chorus of economists…
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