Compassion & planning : Empirical analysis of gender background of a planning tribunal on its decisions

Lawrence W.C. LAI*, K. W. CHAU, M. H. CHUA, Josephine LIANG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


This is an original and first statistical inquiry into the potential effect of compassion on the pattern of decisions made by a statutory planning appeal board (PAB). As a contribution to the empirical research on development control using disaggregate data, it seeks to statistically evaluate by probit modelling the decision-making factors behind Hong Kong's PAB decisions under the Town Planning Ordinance from 1990 to 2018. It found no evidence to support compassion of the PAB members had played any role in shaping their decisions upon planning appeal hearings. Incidentally, it was established that planning appeal decisions were affected by the gender mix of PAB such that the probability of a planning appeal case being dismissed increased with female presence on a PAB panel. This empirical finding deserves further in-depth analysis as this should open up new arrays of research with important policy and practical implications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102522
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Compassion
  • Development control
  • Gender
  • Planning appeal
  • Probit modelling


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