Ask: NUS Economists - Traffic lights v roundabouts

A: Well-functioning markets serve to allocate scarce economic resources efficiently. In the market for fruit, if bad weather reduces the supply of durians, prices rise, causing people to cut back on consumption. If good weather increases the supply of durians - as occurred in June - prices fall, persuading people to consume more.

In the labour market, the growth of information and communications technology has sharply increased the worldwide demand for computer scientists. Job opportunities and sharply rising salaries attract more young people to study computer science. At the National University of Singapore, the number of students matriculating into the School of Computing almost doubled from 443 to 825 in 10 years.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2019, with the headline 'Traffic lights v roundabouts'. Subscribe