The “cost of living” is highly subjective

Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“IMF estimates Singapore’s cost of living to be an astounding 33.9% lower than the cost of living in the US. Not 33.9% below NYC, rather 33.9% below the US average. There’s an almost crazy disparity between the IMF’s claim that Singapore is a very cheap city and surveys showing that Singapore is literally the most expensive city on Earth. What gives? Fortunately, the FT links to a useful linked article that explains the reality of prices in Singapore. The ‘TLDR’ synopsis is as follows: 1. Singapore is a really expensive city for expat business people who wish to rent a private apartment in fashionable central neighborhoods, have a private car, and have membership in a golf club. 2. For average Singaporeans living further out and not owning a car, the cost of living is quite reasonable.” (07/03/24)