This article elaborates the concept of a Singapore model of economic development which depended externally on services as much as manufactured exports. Extensive government intervention and planning, though not a rigid central plan, were essential to the successful expansion of both. Singapore's experience illustrates an approach to economic planning which admits possibilities other than just ‘the market’ or ‘the plan’, and shows that this is not a polarised debate. Analysis of the Singapore model points to a structuralist approach and leads away from a current neoclassical ascendency in development economics, founded ‘empirically’ in part on the Republic's success as one of the four East Asian dragons.

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