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Singapore's Success : Engineering Economic Growth Hardcover – August 31, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In this book, Henri Ghesquiere gives us a well-informed, rigorous, and engaging account of one of the most remarkable examples of successful development in modern history. True, as Ghesquiere prudently warns, Singapore's experience - or indeed that of any individual country - is not automatically transferable elsewhere. But those inquiring seriously into the mysteries of economic growth cannot fail to look at this nation's fascinating case, which is competently presented in this volume." --Ernesto Zedillo, Former President of Mexico, Director of Yale Center for Study of Globalization

"The author shows an impressive grasp of the workings of Singapore economy and has written a candid, entertaining, and engaging account of his view." --Dr. Khor Hoe Ee, Assistant Managing Director (Economics), Monetary Authority of Singapore, President of Economic Society of Singapore

"This book explains succinctly why Singapore succeeded. The author's views are forthright, at times critical, yet fair and balanced." --Euston Quah, Associate Professor and Head of Economics, Nanyang Technological University, Editor for The Singapore Economic Review

About the Author

Dr Henri Ghesquiere was Director of the IMF-Singapore Regional Training Institute (2004-2005). He served on the staff of the International Monetary Fund during 1978-2005. At the IMF, he was closely involved as an economist, mission head, and senior resident representative with macroeconomic lending programs and growth-oriented stabilization policies in 26 countries. Henri Ghesquiere holds degrees in humanities and economics from the University of Leuven, Belgium and earned his Ph.D. from Yale University.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning; 01 edition (August 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9814195286
  • ISBN-13: 978-9814195287
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #922,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ServantofGod on February 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book reminds me of my experience with Robert Rubin's "In an uncertain world". I expected much, but I was quite disappointed. The author, with his dry writing, had been too careful in handling the Lee Kuan Yew and thus all political factors. Perhaps that's characteristics of bureaucrats in IMF. For those who want to get some facts for an academic thesis, that's fine. For those who want to have insights for investment and business decisions, this wont satisfy you at all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Guido Deboeck on November 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In this exceptional well written book about the achievements of Singapore, the author integrates a discussion of the pro economic growth policies with the growth-enhancing institutions and culture of Singapore. The main theme of this book is the question as to "what other countries can learn" from the achievements of Singapore? Based on my personal visits to Singapore --the earliest of which was in 1972 for pleasure and the more recent ones in the 90s were for business or to make presentations at technology oriented conferences or for government officials of the Central Bank-- as well as on my contacts with friends in Singapore, I fully endorse the key themes that emerge from Singapore's success story. This short easy to read book should be read by all students of economic development and more importantly should be studied in detail by all policy makers interested in making government work more effectively "for all the people". Hence, it is not surprising that this book has already become a textbook for seminars organized at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. Other Public Policy departments around the globe should do likewise, teach students the best practices of professional government behavior that the author, H. Ghesquiere (a former Director of the IMF-Singapore Regional Training Institute) managed to so succinctly highlight in this wonderful book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JJ Samuel on July 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
To do this remarkable book justice, I'd like to mention Robert Lucas, who talks about the spectacular growth, sustained over many decades of South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. He also mentions the very good record of other, less likely countries like Indonesia and Syria, and says

"I do not see how one can look at figures like these without seeing them as representing possibilities. . . The consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: Once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else. This is what we need a theory of economic development for: to provide some kind of framework for organizing facts like these . . ."

One gets the impression that Henri Ghesquiere has indeed, thought long and hard about Singapore's experience. This tour de force of a book represents his very persuasive, coherent framework for organizing the facts. I've read it very carefully, and it is clear that this book is a labour of love. It must have been difficult to write, and it is very rewarding to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mike McDole on January 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a well written book from a high level perspective of overall economic factors that contributed to the history of the unique circumstances surrounding the development of Singapore into a thriving economy over its first 40 years. Author H. Ghesquiere makes clear early on this is not a "how to" guide for other countries but an overview of the success factors that Singapore was able to manage and capitalize on in their unique circumstances, although some methods may be transferrable. The story is impressive and the results speak for themselves, the author presents the positive nature of the results with as fair-balanced a perspective as one would expect considering the topic. Ghesquiere touched on good fundamental economic principals capitalized on and strategically enforced by Singapore's leadership and fairly explains those concepts to make it easy to follow through the progressions to achieve his conclusions.

The main theme of this book is that in Singapore economic outcomes, policies, economic and political institutions, attitudes, values and leadership are all closely interwoven. Singapore's successful evolution is an interesting model that has flourished partly due to the cultural norms that are indicative to this region. Respect for elders, hierarchy, authority and an overall more agreeable and less confrontational, opinionated and challenging attitude is the backdrop establishing government leadership had to work with from the outset. The model is interesting, involving the heavy hand of government forcing the free market on its congregation, highly valuing personal accountability versus entitlement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By NavyWings on January 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book can be summed up with one sentence: concerning Singapore, no other economy grew faster during the 40-year period ending in 2000. That is a powerful statement and one that held my interest from the beginning. Living in the United States where many sometimes just accept economic recession, low unemployment, high healthcare costs, government corruption, government inefficiency, high national debt and high spending on social programs as the norm and something as an unavoidable price of doing business, this book shows a model where this isn't necessarily the case. With a willingness of the people to accept certain constraints in their liberties (as Westerners would view them), they gain one of the strongest economies in the world. An economy that never had to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to borrow money. An economy that does not spend what is does not have. An economy that is as capitalistic as possible and yet boasts some of the lowest unemployment and some of the best wages with no wage control.
The author does a fantastic job of presenting his view replete with data and statistics. He examines the historical perspective and why Singapore appeared doomed as a city-state from the very beginning of its independence. He decomposes Singapore's 8 percent average annual rate of growth over 40 years. He examines the unfavorable conditions Singapore faced at the outset of their independence. He then examines the policies Singapore set in place to address fiscal, savings, monetary, exchange rates, wages, education, health and road transportation. Regardless of the policies, many countries start with good policy yet fail on implementation. Why was Singapore so different? Ghesquiere examines how the policies were supported by good institutions, good governance, the rule of law and a well-functioning social contract that resulted in political stability.
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