Singapore's Policy Responses to Aging, Inequality and Poverty: An Assessment

20 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2008

See all articles by Mukul G. Asher

Mukul G. Asher

National University of Singapore - Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Amarendu Nandy

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Economics

Abstract

Singapore represents an instructive case study in responding to rapid aging, growing inequalities, and significant relative poverty. Unlike other high-income Asian countries, it has relied on single-tier mandatory savings to finance retirement, housing, and to a lesser extent, health care. To address the low fertility rates, it has permitted the share of the non-citizen population to triple between 1990 and 2005 to nearly 30 per cent. This is subtly altering Singapore's socio-political dynamics, while assisting in sustaining growth and competitiveness. The paper argues that Singapore has the fiscal, institutional, and organizational capacities for a modern multi-tier social security system. Singapore is, however, determined to continue with current inadequate and inequitable arrangements, requiring individuals and their families to bear disproportionate risks in financing retirement, health care, and short-term income support. This reflects conscious policy choices arising from a Darwinist vision of society, and the need for socio-political control.

Suggested Citation

Asher, Mukul G. and Nandy, Amarendu, Singapore's Policy Responses to Aging, Inequality and Poverty: An Assessment. International Social Security Review, Vol. 61, No. 1, pp. 41-60, January/March 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1088521 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-246X.2007.00302.x

Mukul G. Asher (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore - Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy ( email )

Singapore 117591
Singapore
(65) 6778 1020 (Fax)

Amarendu Nandy

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Economics ( email )

1 Arts Link, AS2 #06-02
Singapore 117570, Singapore 119077
Singapore

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
19
Abstract Views
1,918
PlumX Metrics