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Beyond rubber prices: negotiating the Great Depression in Singapore

Seng, L.K. (2005) Beyond rubber prices: negotiating the Great Depression in Singapore. South East Asia Research, 14 (1). pp. 5-31.

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This paper looks at life in Singapore during the Great Depression in the early 1930s from the perspectives of the ordinary people who lived through it. Besides discussing the slump's impact on businesses, wages and employment, it examines how effectively people responded to the crisis. Their distress was alleviated by immigration controls and a fall in the cost of living at the societal level, and also by mutual help, based on family and kinship ties, at the individual level. It appears that life for many people was not as difficult as might be supposed. The quality of life, reflected in indices such as mortality and crime, seemed generally satisfactory after 1930, while the island was also spared serious social and political upheaval.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Asia Research Centre
Publisher: IP Publishing Ltd
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