From Economics

Introduction to Behavioural Economics and the Health Industry

‘Standard economics assumes that we are rational… But, as the results presented in this book (and others) show, we are far less rational in our decision making… Our irrational behaviors are neither random nor senseless- they are systematic and predictable. We all make the same types of mistakes over and over, because of the basic…

The Everyday Applications of Nudge

The Law of Demand posits that the quantity demanded of a good or service has an inverse relationship with the price (i.e. the higher the price, the lower the quantity demanded). On the other hand, the Law of Supply teaches us that the price and quantity supplied share a direct, positive relationship. As Economics students, you might poke a hole in these two statements: I know, ‘ceteris paribus’. (For those who are not familiar with the subject, it is simply the assumption that all other factors are held constant.) Yet, even when so much precision and attention are paid to…

Income Inequality In Singapore

Income inequality in Singapore has worsened in recent times. The World Economic Report 2018 showed that the income share captured by the top 10% of income earners in Singapore increased from 32.1% in 1980 to 43.8% in 2014. Moreover, Singapore’s Gini coefficient after tax transfers (collection of taxes and redistribution of that wealth to the…

Behaviour Economics: Truth-telling

Reporting private information is common in most economics or non-economics activities, for instance, companies use advertisements to attract customers, a self-employed worker report her income to the tax authorities or doctors state a diagnosis. But there is a question that concerns us: does everyone choose to misreport their private information if this maximises their material…

The Mystery of the $0.50 Shoyuemi snack

I’ve noticed people buying packets of Shoyuemi snackfrom the drinks stall and I wonder why. The Shoyuemi seaweed snack – a crispy cracker made from soy sauce and vegetable essence – whilst delicious, is nowhere worth its price of $0.50. Visit a value-dollar shop and you would find that 30 packets of the same Shoyuemi…

Prisoner’s Dilemma and Economics

ECONOMICS E-COLUMNIST “The hazards of the generalised prisoner’s dilemma are removed by the match between the right and the good.” – John Rawls The prisoner’s dilemma is a standard example of a game analyzed in game theory that shows why two completely rational individuals might not cooperate, although it will result in an optimal outcome.…