This work has been financially supported by JSPS (Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research C: No. 23530422). The views expressed this paper are solely those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Trade, the Staple Theory of Growth, and Fluctuations in Colonial Singapore, 1900–39
Article first published online: 8 JUL 2013
© 2013 The Authors . Australian Economic History Review © 2013 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd and the Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand
Australian Economic History Review
Volume 53, Issue 2, pages 121–145, July 2013
How to Cite
Choy, K. M. and Sugimoto, I. (2013), Trade, the Staple Theory of Growth, and Fluctuations in Colonial Singapore, 1900–39. Australian Economic History Review, 53: 121–145. doi: 10.1111/aehr.12007
- Issue published online: 8 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 8 JUL 2013
- JSPS. Grant Number: 23530422
- colonial Singapore;
- economic fluctuation;
- entrepôt trade;
- staple theory
Our paper enquires into the nexus between trade, growth, and fluctuations in the British colony of Singapore during the early twentieth century. Hitherto, little quantitative economic history has been written on this great entrepôt of Southeast Asia due to a lack of data. We overcome this limitation by utilising the gross domestic product series recently constructed for the pre-war period by Sugimoto. This comprehensive data set enables us to explore the relevance and applicability of the staple theory of export-led growth to colonial Singapore through cliometric analyses. The results suggest that foreign trade had acted both as an engine of growth and a source of economic instability.