Monetary Authority of Singapore Annual Report 2012/2013
Serving the Public

ENGAGING THE INDUSTRY

Partnership with Academia

Since 2009, MAS has sponsored the Term Professorship in Economics and Finance at the National University of Singapore (NUS). The professorship programme seeks to enhance Singapore’s financial and economic research infrastructure and contribute to a vibrant research community and culture at local universities. In December 2012, Professor Randall Morck (Stephen A. Jarislowsky Distinguished Chair in Finance and University Professor, University of Alberta) visited MAS and NUS as the fourth Term Professor. An expert in financing structures, especially in Japan and China, Professor Morck delivered a public lecture titled “Japanese Lessons”, which explored how the zaibatsu5 helped jump-start Japan’s first phase of industrial development at the turn of the 20th century. He also shared his insights on corporate finance with MAS Senior Management, MAS staff, and the University.

MAS hosted other academics under its Eminent Visitor Programme during the year. In addition to meeting with MAS Senior Management, Eminent Visitors to the Economic Policy Group usually conduct in-house seminars, lectures and discussion sessions with MAS staff, and contribute an article to the Macroeconomic Review. Professor Eric van Wincoop (University of Virginia) and Professor Philippe Bacchetta (Lausanne University) visited in June and July 2012, respectively.

During their visits, they delivered seminars on their joint research work on global financial contagion and exchange rates, and co-authored a Special Feature on self-fulfilling panics for the October 2012 issue of the Macroeconomic Review. The Group also hosted Professor Shang-Jin Wei (Columbia University) in February/March 2013 and consulted with Professor Ilian Mihov (INSEAD Singapore). For the April 2013 Review, Professor Wei wrote about the “competitive saving motive”. Following research partially sponsored by the MAS, Professor Mihov contributed a Special Feature that developed a New Keynesian small open economy model and applied it to Singapore’s economic and policy settings. This modelling approach has now become standard in the literature and it was instructive to have Singapore’s monetary policy framework formally characterised in this way. His findings suggest that the adoption of an exchange rate-based monetary policy rule results in an improvement in social welfare associated with a reduction in the volatility of key macroeconomic variables, such as inflation and output, when compared with an interest rate policy rule. Further extensions of this model will allow the investigation of other specific issues of policy interest and serve as a useful complement to MAS’ existing suite of models.