Singapore’s final authoritarian election

Supporters’ of the opposition Workers’ Party celebrate their party's retention of a group representative constituency in 11 September 2015 election. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Dan Slater, University of Chicago

Singapore’s People’s Action Party (PAP) is riding high in the saddle again. After a decade of slightly sagging fortunes, in which the long-ruling party’s share of the national vote slumped from over 75 per cent in 2001 to barely 60 per cent in 2011, the PAP rebounded mightily in the election on 11 September, snaring nearly 70 per cent of votes cast. Read more…

Indonesia tries to steady its economic wobbles

Indonesia has the 10th largest economy in the world, according to a recent report by the World Bank, with the country contributing 2.3 per cent of global economic output. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

With economic uncertainty in China in the spotlight over the past few weeks, Indonesia’s economic wobbles have escaped the scrutiny abroad that they are now demanding at home.

Less than half a decade ago, Indonesia was still riding the China boom. Read more…

Jokowi takes his first shot at economic reform

Indonesian President Joko Widodo on 10 September 2015 unveiled a series of stimulus measures to lift slowing growth in Southeast Asia's top economy and shore up the country's plunging currency. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Chris Manning, ANU

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has announced a comprehensive package of reforms aimed at reducing inflation and stabilising the exchange rate, stimulating demand through ‘deregulation’ and direct support, with a special focus on creating more jobs in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and across urban and rural communities. The reforms will come into effect this Tuesday 15 September 2015. Read more…

Why India’s policymakers need to fire on all cylinders


Authors: Shekhar Shah and Rajesh Chadha, NCAER

India, the world’s third largest economy measured in purchasing-power parity terms, became a middle income country in 2007. It has one of the world’s youngest populations, with some 260 million people below the age of 25, and its economy is once again growing fast, at 7 per cent growth one of the world’s fastest-growing economies as of August 2015. But will it grow rich before it grows old? Read more…

Strengthening Jakarta–Jayapura trust key to development in Papua

Papuan people participate in a march to commemorate the UN's International Day of the World's Indigenous People in Wamena on 9 August, 2008. For a period of time PNPM-RESPEK was the only program reaching native Papuans in remote rural areas. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Yulia I. Sari, ANU

In order to improve the effectiveness of development strategies in Indonesia’s Papua province, trust between the central government in Jakarta and the Papua provincial government in Jayapura needs to be strengthened. The PNPM-RESPEK initiative is a case in point. Read more…

New measures are needed to understand gender and poverty

A woman living under the poverty line cleans rice, which she purchased from a fair-price shop in the Public Distribution System in the Indian state of Orissa. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Priya Chattier, ANU

The World Bank’s International Poverty Line (IPL) is the benchmark for tracking progress in the reduction of global poverty. But the US$2 a day guideline has drawn criticism among academics and policy circles for subsuming all those below the IPL under the ‘poverty’ category, and for its unidimensional focus on monetary poverty. A new, better measure is out there — and policymakers should use it. Read more…

If Mao still ran China, China would still be poor

Vendors sell posters of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Communist Party founder Mao Zedong on a street of Gujiao in northern China's Shanxi province. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Paul Hubbard, ANU

Reading the latest Chinese growth projections to 2050 brings to mind Karl Marx’s aphorism that history repeats itself first as tragedy, second as farce. One of the co-authors, a Yale economics professor, told the Financial Times the ‘main point of our findings is that, contrary to common misconceptions, productivity growth under Mao, particularly in the non-agricultural sector, was actually pretty good’. Read more…