Legitimate deficit : competitive bidding in a residual and semi-democratic welfare society

Zhuoyi WEN, Alice M. L. CHONG

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

7 Citations (Scopus)


Competitive bidding for public subsidy allocation for welfare services has been widely applied in established welfare states since the 1980s. Studies conducted in these countries have inclined to understand competitive bidding as a financing initiative and use an array of “failure theories” to explain its challenges and failures. In contrast to these studies, the present study focuses on Hong Kong, a residual and semi-democratic welfare state, and investigates competitive bidding as a governmental policy instrument designed to increase the legitimacy of subsidy award decisions. Based on an analysis of submissions in a recent policy review and a review of existing policy documents, we suggest that the government may have increased its decision-making power over NGOs, resulting in little advancement, neither regarding welfare mix, nor concerning the legitimacy of resource allocation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1214-1234
Number of pages21
JournalVOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
Issue number5
Early online date22 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Competitive bidding
  • Hong Kong
  • Policy instrument
  • Policy network
  • Welfare NGOs


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