Inequality in Singapore: Requirements for Enhancing the Quality of Public Debate
7 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2014
Date Written: October 17, 2014
The publication of Thomas Piketty’s 2014 book "Capital in the Twenty First Century" has been a catalyst in bringing the issue of inequality to the forefront of public policy debates in many countries. This is remarkable, given the book’s length (696 pages), intricacies of historical data series from many sources forming the statistical foundations of the book’s main propositions; complexity of theoretical and empirical reasoning employed; and relatively narrow geographical focus (mainly US, U.K., and Western Europe).
Mr. Piketty’s data sources, statistical evidence, theoretical reasoning, and policy suggestions continue to receive searching scrutiny. This is likely to result in better understanding of the inequality issue around the world.
The issues of inequality, social mobility prospects, and of fairness and adequacy of social protection arrangements have recently been prominent in public policy debates in Singapore, and this is likely to continue. It may therefore be instructive to examine two implications of Piketty’s book for enhancing the quality of public policy debate on these issues in Singapore.
Keywords: Thomas Piketty, inequality, Singapore, complexity of theoretical, empirical reasoning, relatively narrow geographical focus
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