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Keywords:

  • intergenerational income mobility;
  • Singapore;
  • immigration;
  • education;
  • inequality

Ng IYH. The political economy of intergenerational income mobility in Singapore

This study used the Singapore National Youth Surveys of 2002 and 2010 to measure the intergenerational dependence of youths' income on their parents' income. The pooled estimate of 0.24 gave a scaled value of 0.44, which when compared internationally indicates an economy with moderately low intergenerational income mobility. The findings analysed against Singapore's political economy suggest that the 2009 recession, a widened safety net and immigration might have mitigated the negative effects that a developmental welfare state and rising inequality have on intergenerational mobility. The effects of Singapore's differentiated education system were unclear. However, despite the limitations in data and data availability in Asia, the findings provide useful points of departure for other countries. The findings also indicate the need for more extensive data and research on what effects the current economic and policy trends have on mobility.