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Economic Growth and Development in Singapore

Past and Future

Gavin Peebles and Peter Wilson

In this book Gavin Peebles and Peter Wilson offer an historical overview of the rapid growth and development of the Singapore economy, detailing the institutions and policies which have made this growth possible. They examine the current state of the economy and its future in terms of prospective growth and structural change.
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Chapter 3: The Growth Experience

Past and Future

Gavin Peebles and Peter Wilson


In this chapter we look at quantitative aspects of Singapore’s aggregate growth and make some comparison with a few selected countries. In Chapter 1 we saw that in per capita terms Singapore ranked seventh in the world in 1999 for GNP per capita in purchasing power terms. We thus look at the factors contributing to this rapid growth and the debate about the efficiency with which that growth has been achieved and what the government thinks this implies for the nature of the future growth of the economy. 3.1 OUTPUT GROWTH Singapore’s output growth rate has been high and remarkably consistent over a long period, thus increasing considerably the size of the economy measured simply in terms of real domestic output. In 2000 real GDP was 24 times its 1960 level and 10 times its 1970 level. It had increased by 140 per cent in the decade of the 1960s. Real GNP (GDP plus Net Factor Income from Abroad) was 25.1 times its 1960 level in 2000 and 10.4 times its 1970 level in 2000, indicating a slightly higher growth rate of GNP than GDP over the long period. Real GNP per capita in 2000 was 10.3 times its 1960 level and 5.4 times its 1970 level. The implied average growth rate of real GNP per capita over the period 1960–2000 is 6 per cent a year which is sufficient to double per capita real incomes every 12 years. As we will argue in subsequent chapters GNP...

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