Case Studies


Results Found

  • Jean Chia
Innovation districts, where density and proximity were prized for fostering knowledge sharing and innovation, have been fast gaining popularity globally. Between 2016 and 2018, the Singapore government announced plans for Punggol Digital District, touted as Singapore’s own “mini Silicon Valley”, and Jurong Innovation District which was envisaged as an “industrial park of the future”. More than a decade earlier, the government embarked on developing the $15 billion one-north as the centrepiece of Singapore's initiative to promote biomedical sciences and technology entrepreneurship. Adopting a novel approach to business parks, one-north attempted to create a “live-work-play-learn” environment that would in turn engender a culture and community for research and innovation to power a new economic growth engine. Given the high stakes and large public investments poured into developing innovation districts, would they give Singapore a competitive edge in the global economy? What was the role of the public sector in spurring innovation? What were the implications or trade-offs in developing innovation districts? This case study discusses these issues using one-north as the primary example.
  • Woo Jun Jie
Known to be highly open and dynamic, Singapore’s economy is driven by a state-centric approach to economic governance that emphasises regulatory transparency, effective and timely policy interventions, and a robust economic infrastructure. However, despite sound macroeconomic foundations, Singapore’s openness and complexity also makes it highly vulnerable to the ‘contagion’ effects of global and regional economic crises. This case study provides a brief overview of Singapore’s general approach to economic governance, and discusses the government’s response to three key economic crises—the 1985 Economic Crisis, the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.
  • Jennifer Dodgson
The second section of a two-part study of Singapore’s immigration policies, this case looks at immigration’s role in the nation’s economy. Since the 1970s, the government has used immigration to help drive growth and smooth the business cycle, thus reinforcing the economic credentials of the ruling People’s Action Party. While the use of foreign labour helped the country to increase its GDP, it also had negative side effects and unintended consequences. This case study examines the economic and social effects of immigration in Singapore, and the policies that have been enacted to maximise the benefits from immigration while mitigating the downsides.
  • Lim Wei Chieh
Almost 10 years ago, an anonymous person or group going by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the world to Bitcoin and its underlying technology, blockchain. While the individual technological components of blockchain had first originated in academic literature as early as the 1980s and 1990s, it was Nakamoto who put them together into a system that holds much promise in solving some of the biggest problems today. Blockchain technology offers plenty of opportunities and benefits across various industries. And some pundits have even started calling blockchain the greatest invention since the Internet. Of course, as with all new technology, the opportunity comes with challenges and risks that need to be understood and addressed. This brief will discuss the underlying concepts and applications of blockchain technology, and the opportunities and risks that are perceivable at the current stage of development.
  • Alisha Gill
Excerpt: Historically, city planners had equated transport with motorised vehicles, and developed infrastructure to move them efficiently. This was true of Singapore as well. Until 2008, Singapore’s Transport Ministry did not even consider cycling a legitimate mode of transport. Yet, a decade later, bicycles and other active mobility devices are ubiquitous and have created new challenges for Singapore’s transport planners. The government today defends the bicycle’s right to space, and appeals for patience when Members of Parliament (MPs) and the public complain about reckless riders, and indiscriminately parked shared bicycles. In this case study, we examine how attitudes and policies towards cycling have evolved in Singapore, with the objective of addressing three broad issues: how did significant policy shifts happen; defensible ways for allocating scarce land to different groups of commuters, and the tactics that policymakers can use to change the status quo and manage unintended consequences.
  • Jennifer Dodgson
Singapore was founded as a nation of immigrants, and has retained a relatively welcoming demand-driven immigration policy. This strategy promotes economic growth and minimises welfare costs, and many other countries have switched or are considering switching to a similar model. However, it is not without disadvantages; businesses have an almost insatiable demand for cheap foreign labour, while citizens have grown increasingly unhappy about the infrastructure pressures and cultural clashes with immigrants. This case (part one of a two-part case study) looks at the two principal strategies adopted by the Singapore to attempt to reduce the number of work visas granted: the Foreign Worker Levy and the Dependency Ceiling system. We evaluate the reasoning behind their introduction and look at their effects on immigration in Singapore.

Part two of this case will consider the economic and social effects of immigration in Singapore, and the policies adopted by the government to attempt to maximise gains while minimising disadvantages.