Public perceptions of income inequality in Hong Kong : trends, causes and implications

Ka Ying, Timothy WONG, Po San, Shirley WAN, Wing Kin, Kenneth LAW

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

15 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the patterns and changes in public perceptions of domestic income inequality in Hong Kong in the past two decades and explains individual variations in these perceptions. It found that the perceived seriousness of income disparities had been persistently high, while the perceived unjustness of income disparities showed a fluctuating trend. Our findings lent partial support to the structural position thesis that the privileged groups are less likely than the underprivileged groups to consider existing income disparities to be serious and unjust. Nonetheless, the popular understanding of poverty is still biased towards 'individual' explanations, and this perhaps explains why the government is less willing to tackle the economic and political foundations of poverty in Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-673
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Contemporary China
Issue number61
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


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