This 2004 Article IV Consultation highlights that in recent years, Singapore’s economy has been hit hard by a series of external shocks. These shocks—the Asian crisis, the bursting of the technology bubble, and the SARS outbreak in 2003—disrupted an economic expansion largely uninterrupted since the 1970s. The shocks have come at a time when Singapore is also facing increasing competition from regional low-cost economies. Looking ahead, economic activity is expected to moderate to more sustainable levels in the near term.
Agency problems within the firm are a significant hindrance to efficiency. We propose trust between coworkers as a superior alternative to the standard tools used to mitigate agency problems: increased monitoring and incentive-based pay. We show how trust induces employees to work harder, relative to those at firms that use the standard tools. In addition, we show that employees at trusting firms have higher job satisfaction, and that these firms enjoy lower labor cost and higher profits. Finally, we show how trust may also be easier to use within the firm than the standard agency-mitigation tools.
This Selected Issues paper presents updated IMF staff estimates of potential output growth for the United States, using data through 2001 that incorporates the full cyclical upswing of the 1990s and the subsequent mild recession, as well as taking into account the revisions to the national accounts released in July 2000. The paper also reviews recent investment trends and provides estimates of the extent to which the capital stock has deviated from its long-term equilibrium.