Business, Government and Labor: Essays on Economic Development in Singapore and Southeast Asia


Authors : Linda Y C Lim (University of Michigan, USA)

Publisher : World Scientific

ISBN : 978-981-3225-25-1

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Business, Government and Labor in the Economic Development of Singapore and Southeast Asia analyzes the inter-linked and evolving roles of private sector business, government public policy, and labor markets in the economic development of Singapore and its Southeast Asian neighborhood. It does this through 16 essays written by Prof. Linda Y C Lim, an early and long-established scholar of these subjects, and published over a 35-year period. For Singapore, often considered the world's most successful economy, the essays highlight the determining role of government's industrial and social policy through to the present day, when the growth model of the past faces many external market and domestic resource constraints. In the rest of Southeast Asia, in contrast, the essays explore how private sector business, dominated by the locally-domiciled ethnic Chinese minority, thrived and drove economic growth in underdeveloped markets with imperfect institutions, and consider if and how this might change with China's increasing presence in the regional economy. A final set of essays analyzes the forces underlying women's employment, from labor-intensive Southeast Asian export factories in the 1980s to Singapore's foreign-labor-dependent economy and its current productivity challenges. Taken together, the essays show how government, business and labor interact in the process of economic development.
Linda Lim is Professor Emerita of Corporate Strategy and International Business at the Stephen M Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan (U-M), where she served as Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS, 2005–2009), and as Associate Director of the International Institute (2001–2004). At U-M she also frequently served on the executive committees of CSEAS, the Center for International Business Education and Research, and the Lieberthal–Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, and was on the board of advisors of the Knight–Wallace Journalism Fellows (1996–2015). At Ross, she was faculty advisor of the annual Asia Business Conference for 25 years, and maintains links with a large network of American and Asian U-M alumni. With CSEAS and Singapore's ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, she organized an Indonesia Forum in Singapore in 2015, and a Myanmar Forum in 2016.

A citizen of Singapore, Linda obtained her degrees in economics from the universities of Cambridge (BA 1972), Yale (MA 1973) and Michigan (PhD 1978). She has authored, co-authored or edited six books and published more than 100 other monographs, journal articles and book chapters on economic development, trade, investment, industrial policy, labor, multinational and local business in Asia. Most recently she guest-edited and contributed two papers to a Special Issue of the Singapore Economic Review which was republished as a book, Singapore's Economic Development: Retrospection and Reflections, in World Scientific's 2015 series celebrating Singapore's 50th anniversary, to which she also contributed chapters in three other volumes. In 2013–2014 she self-published her family history, Four Chinese Families in British Colonial Malaya: Confucius, Christianity and Revolution. Linda also regularly publishes articles in the Singapore media, and is often quoted in the international business media, on the US, Asian and Singapore economies.

Linda has taught MBA courses on The World Economy/ Competing in the Global Business Environment, and Business in Asia, and currently teaches custom executive education sessions on international economics and Asian business. She has consulted and conducted executive workshops on Asian business, politics, economics and culture for multinational and Asian companies and associations, and government agencies. She has done training and ambassador briefings for the US State Department and the US Trade Representative, has testified to the US Congress' House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, and has addressed the United Nations General Assembly Economic Committee. She has also consulted for private think tanks (e.g. American Enterprise Institute), United Nations agencies (e.g. ESCAP, ILO, UNIDO) and the OECD Development Centre.

Linda is a Trustee Emerita of The Asia Society, a New York-based non-profit. She served on a Singapore higher education task force (2004), and is on the board of the National University of Singapore America Foundation (since 2005). She was an independent director of two US public companies with extensive Asia operations in tech manufacturing, Woodhead Industries (1998–2006) and Multi-Fineline Electronix (2008–2016), up to their sale to other entities.
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