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Philosophy, Politics and Economics Personal Statement

There are numerous prevalent issues surrounding society at present, such as political upheavals, economic crises and worldwide pollution. What interests me the most is the issue of income equality in countries. For instance, the Financial Times reports that China has one of the world’s highest income inequality. Income levels in coastal cities such as Beijing are equivalent to Switzerland, while the inland cities are equivalent to Ethiopia. Income level variations between coastal and inland cities are about twelve percent. It leaves me thinking for the reasons that lead to large differences in income levels.

Although the same government govern the cities, government bureaucracy, such as restrictions on freedom of speech and insecure property rights, and focus on only developing the developed cities has resulted in poorer infrastructure and economic growth in the less developed cities. Thus, I wish to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics, which will help provide detailed analysis on the reasons and philosophy behind government decision-making and the political and economic consequences of such decisions.

Books such as Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson’s Why Nations Fail have also further revealed how government policies affect the economy and income levels of countries. They explained how government policies could influence the types of economic institutions a society will have and the consequences that the links will have on society, such as widening income gaps and poor infrastructure. It has made me query how much a figure like Gini Coefficient matters when governments such as China are not introducing policies to help close the gap. To keep up with current affairs, I read the newspaper and watch news programs such as CNNMoney.

Studying for the International Baccalaureate Diploma cultivated my passions by providing the foundations for undertaking this degree. Through Economics and History, I began to analyse and evaluate the social, political and economical impacts of current and historical events. Subjects such as Mathematics and Economics, which seem so unrelated, are deeply integrated. The practical nature of Mathematics provided the foundations for advanced learning of economic formulas, such as GDP to measure the economic growth of countries.

Furthermore, writing a History Extended Essay and doing the various Internal Assessments prepared me for a rigourous undergraduate life. I learnt how to meet the demanding requirements for the various projects. More importantly, I learnt time management, where I had to juggle my time between doing the various projects, studying for the examinations and preparing for my sports season.

Beyond academics, I was part of the School’s Cross Country team for six years and became Captain of the B’ Division in 2013. Leadership and discipline were essential skills needed when I was Captain. It taught me the importance of responsibility, as I had to weigh the ups and downs of every decision made for the team. Developing perseverance was vital in Cross Country, as I developed the mental strength necessary to complete rigourous trainings and the duties allocated to me as Captain.

Outside of sports, I participated in my school’s Window On the World Community Involvement Project (CIP), where my class raised S$2600 through fundraising projects such as selling T-shirts to buy materials for the trip. We taught simple Mathematics and planned and played interactive games with the village children. Also, we experienced the villagers’ way of life by farming and doing housework for the various households. This CIP taught me a lot about life skills such as teamwork and perseverance, as without them, the activities planned would not have been carried out successfully.

Serving two years of National Service would be a reinvigorating break from twelve years of formal education. Needless to say, I am eager to begin this next phase of life in university.

I wish to apply PPE at Oxford, UCL, Kings College London and Warwick, government and economics at LSE
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