Economics of gender: Singapore's older generations

Pundarik Mukhopadhaya*, G. Shantakumar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In Singapore, older women (and men) are likely to be 'marginalized' by the global labour market. Their higher incidence of disability, smaller savings, short work histories, and lower incomes from less commensurate qualifications and skills contribute to old age insecurity. Widowhood increases their vulnerability and high family dependency, which may not guarantee sustained welfare. Formal old age support by the State is a necessary condition for income security to lessen past inequities and life-course shortcomings. This paper analyses the economic situation of older Singapore women (and men) and focuses on appropriate income security policy, based on two and a half decades of available socio-economic data (1980-2005). Universal suffrage and widespread education, and the Women's Charter (1961) should translate into women development, but there are gaps through inadequate social security (which is employment-based), exemplifying lack of concerted government effort amidst globalization policies manifested through labour market discrimination and segmented wage systems, unequal benefits and increasing old age disability, calling for long-term healthcare financing and management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-377
Number of pages39
JournalJournal of Interdisciplinary Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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