Biz Sch News 20 December 2017

NUS profs launch new book on Singaporean economic behaviours – Kiasunomics

Together with publisher World Scientific, Professor Sumit Agarwal, Visiting Professor of Finance at the NUS Business School, Associate Professor Ang Swee Hoon, Associate Professor of Marketing, NUS Business School and Associate Professor Sing Tien Foo, Deputy Head of Admin & Finance at the NUS Department of Real Estate; and Director of the Institute of Real Estate Studies came together on 19 December 2017 to launch their latest book – Kiasunomics: Stories of Singaporean Economic Behaviours.

Unveiling of Kiasunomics with World Scientific publisher Chua Hong Koon, Prof Sumit Agarwal, A/P Sing Tien Foo and A/P Ang Swee Hoon

Kiasunomics is the first-ever fictional story of Singaporeans and their economic behaviours that incorporates data from financial and real estate research.

The story follows Teng, a Singaporean taxi driver as he makes daily economic choices that resonate with all Singaporeans from different walks of life.

From grocery runs in Johor Bahru to buying a home with a lucky number and near top tier primary schools, Singaporeans’ “kiasu” behaviours have been reported over the years. Despite the “kiasuism” behind these actions, is this actually sound financial planning that warrants its own merits?

Even behaviours on electricity and water consumption during the haze or when there is construction are investigated. Research findings on credit card spending during the Great Singapore Sale and bankruptcy profiling are woven in these stories to explain the influences and consequences of our financial decisions through simple economic logic.

The trio said, “This is our first attempt at storytelling; where we leave our comfort zone of formal, terse and often peculiar nomenclature (the formal names or terms for various things) academics are accustomed to, and bravely and humbly use our conversational voice and Singlish. We hope reading this book enables readers to not only have economic insights to their daily issues but also develop a deeper appreciation for research.”

Authors speaking to moderator Ms Claire Chiang (left)

The book is available at all major bookstores, where all proceeds of the book will be donated to charity.