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Thomas B Singh

NAME: Thomas B. Singh


2010        Ph.D., Department of Economics, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

Dissertation Title: To Trust or Not to Trust Others: Norms, Interactions and Institutions

1991        M.A. in Economics, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA           

Specialization: Public Finance

1986        BSocSc. in Economics (Distinction), University of Guyana


  • Interpersonal Trust, Social Interactions, and the Interaction between Formal and Informal Institutions;  Public Policy and Trust in Low-trust    Economies
  • Migration, Remittances and Balance of Payments Adjustment
  • Economic Development in Norm-Based Societies
  • Teacher Compensation Systems and Education Outcomes
  • Constitutional Design in Small, Poor, and Fragmented Economies


“Balance of Payments Adjustment in Guyana: Is There A Role for Informal Institutions?” in Small Economies and Global Economics, edited by J. Ram Pillarisetti, , Roger Lawrey, Teo Siew Yean, Shamim A. Siddiqui, and Azman Ahmad (University of Brunei), Nova Science Publishers, 2008.

“Poverty, Economics and Conflict Management,” in Governance, Conflict Analysis and Conflict Resolution, edited by Cedric Grant and Mark Kirton, Ian Randle Publishers, 2007.

“Local Public Goods Insecurity, Conflict and the State: A Paradoxical Proposal,” Transition, Vol. 34, 2005.

“Constitutional Design for Market Efficiency and Political Democracy in Small, Poor and Open Transition (SPOT) Economies,” in Political Democracy, Social Democracy and the Market in the Caribbean, by Jack Menke (ed.), Democracy Unit, Anton de Kom University of Suriname, 2004.

“Development Assistance, Rudimentary Financial Markets and Relatively Rapid Goods Market Adjustment,” Transition, Issue 32, October 2003.

“Agency, Teacher Effort, Incentives and Teacher Compensation: A Review and Proposal,” Transition, Issue 30, 2001.

“Bank Liquidity Management, Prudential Regulation and Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy: A Reappraisal of the Liquid Asset Requirement,” Money Affairs, Vol. XII, No. 2, Jul.-Dec. 1999.


12/2009    The Santa Chiara Graduate School and Pro.M Chair in Bioeconomics, University of Siena, Darwin Bicentenary Conference on Evolution: Intersecting Natural and Social Sciences.  Presentation Title: “Social Norms and Interpersonal Trust”

04/2009    Scottish Economic Society 2009 Annual Conference (Ramada Inn, Perth, Scotland).  Presentation Title: “Interpersonal Trust as Individual Choice with Social Interactions”

04/2009    Royal Economic Society 2009 Annual Conference (University of Surrey).      Presentation Title:  “Interpersonal Trust as Individual Choice with Social Interactions”

11/2008    Centre for Experimental Economics, Dept. of Economics, University of Copenhagen, 3rd Nordic Conference on Experimental and Behavioral Economics.  Presentation Title: “Interpersonal Trust as Individual Choice with Social Interactions”

02/2008    Department of Economics, University of Kent, Research (Upgrade) Seminar.  Presentation Title: “Trust in the World as Individual Choice with Social Interactions”

05/2006    Department of Economics, University of Guyana, 40th Independence Conference on “Sugar in the Caribbean: Challenges and Prospects,” May 25, Education Lecture Theatre, U.G.  Presentation Title: “The Economics of Sugar Reform in Guyana”

03/2006    Dublin City University and the Development Cooperation Ireland, 2006 Development Education Conference, Dublin City University.  Presentation Title: “Imagination and Development”

01/2005    Global Development Network, 6th Annual Development Conference on “Developed and Developing Worlds: Mutual Impact,” Le Meridien, Dakar, Senegal.  Finalist, Conflict, Human Security and Migration Category of Research Medals Competition.  Presentation Title: “Local Public Goods Insecurity, Conflict and Remittances: There is a (Decentralised) Balm in Gilead for Poor, Troubled Societies!”


“Trust as Choice with Endogenous Social Interactions”

“A Review of the McKinsey Report on which Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy is Based”


I have been involved in a number of activities that are not directly related to my IDS work.  These can be grouped as activities to support the Guyana Coalition of Service Providers, St. Stanislaus College (my high school) and the Guyana Presbyterian Church.  Arising from these activities have been some specific documents:

“Comments on Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry Document 'Enhancing Competitiveness',” Prepared (with Prof. Clive Thomas) for the Guyana Coalition of Service Providers, September 2005.

“Comments on Guyana’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Progress Report, 2005,” Prepared for the University of Guyana Submission, July 2005.

“Memorandum on The VAT and Excise Tax Bills,” the Institute of Development Studies’ Submission to the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Finance, May 2005.

“A Financial (And Institutional) Review of the Guyana Presbyterian Church,” Report to the Properties and Finance Committee, Guyana Presbyterian Church, Jan.  2002.  NB – in this regard, I’ve also served as the Chairperson of the Committee that drafted the Guyana Presbyterian Church Constitution in 2005.

“Principles of Rate of Return Regulation of Public Utilities: Why the Temporary Rate Increases Approved for Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Co. Warrant Review.”  Evidence submitted to the Public Utilities Commission Public Hearing, February 1998.


ECN 110, ECN120, ECN 210, GEM 325, ECN 320, DSC 514

Referee for Social and Economic Studies



The political economy of the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS)

Last week I concluded my rather extended discussion on the current global economic crisis and the lessons to be learnt from this. I trust readers would not infer from this that I believe the global crisis is over and we can safely return to business as usual. Far from it, while this is an appropriate point to introduce other topics to the discussion, I promise I will return to the global crisis if there are significant untoward developments in the coming weeks as we close out 2009 and enter into the New Year, 2010.

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Norway’s deception: Partnership or capture of Guyana’s rainforest

In this column last week I started what I hope will be a fairly full assessment of the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). At the time of writing this column I have not been able to access the revised version of the Draft LCDS, which the government had promised to place in the National Assembly before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (Copenhagen Summit), which starts tomorrow. As I await the revised version of the LCDS, I shall confine my assessment to those topics which should not be significantly affected by likely revisions.

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Norway And Guyana’s rainforest: Why beggars do not choose

For this week’s column, let me begin by re-emphasizing a couple of observations I have made about global inter-governmental negotiations thus far, as I continue to evaluate the low-carbon development strategy and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), between the Government of Guyana and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway, as well as its related Joint Concept Note between the two parties to the agreement.
Diplomatic principle.

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Norway and Guyana’s rainforest: Santa Claus or Old Higue

I hope that by now readers would have realised that Norway can in no way be looked upon as Guyana’s Santa Claus. I have also tried so far in recent columns to make it categorically clear that my principal intention is not simply to bash Norway as a historic polluter of the earth’s atmosphere. My main purpose in presenting Norway’s horrendous environmental profile is to assert the obligation this places on Guyanese to ensure our pristine forests are developed in an integrated, transparent, accountable and sustainable framework for the benefit of all Guyana. In particular to ensure that our national patrimony does not end up being mortgaged to the promotion of Norway’s studied and calculated efforts to deceive the world into believing that it cares more than any other nation about saving Planet Earth. As the saying goes “beware when Old Higue around looking for life blood.”

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Rule or exception: Double standards and fighting global warming

‘Dirty secrets’
I hope that I have already indicated clearly Norway’s double standards in its climate change and global warming actions. More generally, its Santa Claus image has taken a serious beating in the approach to the just concluded Copenhagen Summit. In his Guardian Weekly column last September, Mark Curtis bemoaned the fact that in spite of Norway’s benign image abroad it had “become the home of four dirty little secrets.” One of these is of course the environmental sleight-of-hand I have been dealing with in these columns in previous weeks.

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