New guide to mark 20 years of Economist Service highlights work of public sector economists, Economy News & Top Stories


SINGAPORE – Housing Board flat homeowners are 4 occasions extra more likely to make partial repayments on the mortgage of their house to scale back the curiosity they pay if they’re made conscious of the advantages of doing so.

This was the discovering of a behavioural research by the Ministry of National Development (MND) and HDB economists to gauge how HDB flat homeowners will be coaxed into repaying a part of their mortgage earlier.

This discovering is featured in a guide, Economics In Practice: Evidence-Based Policymaking In Singapore, launched on Tuesday (Dec 14) to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Economist Service (ES), a scheme for public sector economists.

Set up in 2001 to deepen the general public sector’s capabilities within the financial evaluation of public insurance policies, the ES has almost 100 economists.

While the scheme comes underneath the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), the ES has expanded its scope of labor past MTI and financial points.

Two-thirds of its officers are posted to twenty ministries and companies, in response to Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong, who spoke throughout the guide’s launch on the National Museum.

Mr Gan mentioned: “The guide options the contributions of over 30 economists from the general public sector from 12 ministries and companies, and is a mirrored image of the intensive multi-agency community of the ES.

“ES officers have contributed their expertise to inform a wide range of public policies, from economic policies to fiscal, socio-economic, health, security and infrastructural policies.”

He added that these officers have helped to design insurance policies based mostly on financial ideas and by reviewing empirical proof.

Current insurance policies are additionally evaluated for his or her effectiveness utilizing empirical strategies in order that adjustments will be really helpful if wanted, mentioned the minister.

One article within the guide appears to be like on the effectiveness of the Workfare scheme for lower-wage staff. It cited the improved employment price of staff aged 35 years and older.

Another chapter covers a programme that raises consciousness of how a lot meals is wasted by means of the usage of meals waste recycling bins outfitted with radio-frequency identification entry.

The guide additionally touches on the significance of sustaining Singapore’s financial development to construct up fiscal sources to cushion the affect of financial shocks – such because the recession brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

An excerpt from the guide reads: “Unlike other countries that experienced a surge in government debt due to the unprecedented fiscal stimulus deployed to counter the effects of the pandemic, Singapore’s strong reserves allowed it to fund a sizeable Covid-19 stimulus package and cushion the downturn, without the need to borrow or take on debt.”

Newly appointed chief economist Yong Yik Wei mentioned the ES would wish to proceed to watch exterior and home developments in addition to undertake rigorous analysis and evaluation to reinforce the robustness of presidency insurance policies.

“In recent years, the ES has also developed new capabilities, including data science techniques in order to keep up with the latest developments in economics and quantitative methods,” she mentioned.

At Tuesday’s launch, Ms Yong unveiled the ES’ new emblem geared toward enhancing the service’s branding and sense of id.

She mentioned: “We thought that it could be well timed and would assist elevate our profile among the many public.

“The choice of colour and the typeface reflects the traits of the ES – professionalism, trustworthiness and reliability.”

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