Stories of Singaporean Economic Behaviours
By (author): Sumit Agarwal (NUS, Singapore), Swee Hoon Ang (NUS, Singapore), Tien Foo Sing (NUS, Singapore)
Have you ever wondered whether individuals born in the year of the Dragon are truly blessed? Or why you can't find a taxi when you need one? What about the effects of superstitious beliefs on housing prices? Kiasunomics© explores these issues and more in a series of stories through the lens of Teng, the protagonist of this book. Told in a conversational story-telling style yet grounded on rigorous research, the book explains the influences and outcomes of the decisions we make, using simple economic logic.
The book follows the life journey of Teng — from birth to adulthood — and examines how seemingly innocuous decisions bear economic consequences on his life. It starts with the decision by Teng's parents to have him as a Dragon baby and shows how this decision affects not only his education but also his career and spending in the long term. The grown-up Teng in later chapters, is a taxi driver who learns that the daily budgeting of finances from many of his taxi-driving friends has proven to be poor financial planning. The story also shows how his purchase of a flat based on superstitious beliefs, and its location near a primary school and a Mass Rapid Transit station influences prices, and with some surprising results.
This book touches the man on the street with issues that many Singaporeans can identify with. These include how Singaporeans' shopping in Johor affects their spending and savings; how different shoppers respond variedly to predictable promotions such as the Great Singapore Sale; how the haze or a mere nearby construction site affects water and electricity consumption; how playing golf elevates women's opportunities to sit on corporate boards; how Singaporeans' travel patterns are affected by their opinion towards public transportation; and how retirement poses financial challenges in silver years. These and many more are unravelled in the 20 stand-alone chapters through the authors' application of their research findings to day-to-day issues.
Kiasunomics© brings to light that research can be made relevant to our daily living. Research helps us make sense of what we do and with that, we can learn to make better decisions for a smarter thinking nation.
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