chapter  8
15 Pages

Social policies as collective goods: lesson from Malaysia and Singapore: M.Ramesh

Withand Singapore M . RAMESH

The intellectual and political outlook toward statutory social welfare – here broadly understood to include education, health, housing and income maintenance – has come almost full circle in the last hundred years. Until the end of the nineteenth century, these were seen as private goods that individuals consumed according to what they could afford. It was only in the twentieth century, especially in the post-World War II years, that liberals and conservatives alike began to accept that these services had collective goods characteristics which meant welfare would be consumed less than was desirable for the society as a whole, unless the state intervened to increase its supply.