Economic Growth and Income Inequality in China, India and Singapore: Trends and Policy Implications

Front Cover

The world at large is watching both China and India as powerhouses of economic growth. The two nations have achieved significantly high rates of economic growth ever since their respective economies liberalized in 1978 and 1991. Singapore, despite its limited land size and almost total dependence on external trade, has performed remarkably well and has moved ‘from the third world to the first’. This book documents and explains the rapid economic growth of the three key Asian economies.

The book also looks at what has happened to income inequality in the context of superior growth performance. It makes comparative assessments and examines the implications for the three nations. Since free markets have nothing in them to produce a reduction in income inequality among persons/households, one must at best hope for equality of opportunity – notably reflected in identical schooling for all; identical health care for all; and minimal rather than vulgar inequality in housing. This book is particularly useful for both China and India which may wish to study and learn from Singapore in regard to the policies, programmes and projects aimed at ensuring equality of opportunity.

The book is backed by considerable expertise on the part of the researchers, with demonstrated expertise through their publications spawning a few decades. It is invaluable to those who are concerned with designing policies for developing countries aimed at rapid and inclusive economic growth.

This book has been made possible by the intellectual and financial support extended by the Global Asia Institute, National University of Singapore.


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List offigures
moving up and sustainable?
from Hindu rate to East Asian levels
the issue of inequality
the making of the global citystate
the Singapore case

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About the author (2013)

Pundarik Mukhopadhaya is an Associate Professor at the Department of Economics, Macquarie University, Australia. Dr Mukhopadhaya has published widely on income distribution analysis and various other issues in development economics. Some of his major publications have appeared in Journal of Contemporary Asia, Researches on Economic Inequality, Advances in Econometrics, Applied Economics, Journal on Income Distribution, Journal of Asian Economics, Asian Economics Journal, Journal of World Investment and Trade, Netherlands International Law Review, Oxford Development Studies and Economic Record. Dr Mukhopadhaya has also provided consultancy to UNESCO, the World Bank and WHO.

G. Shantakumar is currently a consultant demographer and statistician. He was a statistician with Department of Statistics of the Government of Malaysia and was an academic (1970-2001) at the National University of Singapore. He obtained his PhD from the National University of Singapore in 1980. Dr Shantakumar has published widely with 12 books and monographs, 26 chapters in books, 24 papers in refereed journals, and 32 consultancy reports (in confidential domain), and 36 conference papers. His consultancy clientele includes various government ministries and agencies in Singapore, UNESCO, WHO at Manila, Singapore Airlines, Australian Meat and livestock Corporation, and other NGOs concerned with community development and self-help.

Bhanoji Rao holds a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Singapore (now NUS). His teaching and research career included positions at the University of Singapore, National University of Singapore and the World Bank at Washington and Jakarta. He is currently Visiting Professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS. Prof Rao has also provided consultancy to Singapore Airlines, IBM-Singapore, IDRC–Canada, UNESCAP, the World Bank and most recently the Asian Development Bank, Manila. His publications included 17 books, 40 chapters in books, 62 papers in refereed journals and 14 monographs.

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