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Women, the Family, and Economic Restructuring: the Singapore Model?

Jean Pyle

Review of Social Economy, 1997, vol. 55, issue 2, 215-223

Abstract: Singapore is promoting itself as a model for Asian development, citing its high growth rates and stable society. It contends that its approach differs dramatically from that of the West because of its solid value system regarding families and community. This paper examines the ways women and changing family policies have been critical components of Singapore's growth. It shows, however, that rather than having a long-term consistent view of appropriate family size and roles, the Singaporean government adopted strikingly different policies (particularly toward fertility) over the past three decades, as it attempted to affect the supply of labor in the short-run and over the longer term and thereby maintain growth rates. This sheds a different light on Singapore's claims regarding its stable approach to families, particularly since policy changes since the mid-1980s have placed intense demands on women's limited time by encouraging increased female labour force participation and increased fertility.

Keywords: Singapore; female labor force participation; fertility policies; birth rate; export-oriented development; supply of labor (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1997
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DOI: 10.1080/00346769700000035

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