Widening of a poverty gap : a condition of governance crisis in Hong Kong

Alfred C. M. CHAN, Stephen Y. L. LEUNG, Tony C. K. LAI

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


Hong Kong as a free society, where capitalistic economy is essentially adopted, has failed to balance the distribution of resources and led to the widening of income disparity, indicated by a Gini coefficient of over 0.53 (Ma, 2011) as well as the stagnation of median household income of $18,000 across 10 years (The World Bank, 2012). The problem of poverty and income inequality had been increasingly felt by the citizens (Wong, Wan, and Law, 2010) which severs the stability and legitimacy of the Hong Kong Government’s rule which hinges on the materialistic benefit for the whole citizenship (Ma, 2011). The unchangeable fate of poverty as well as the increasing pursuit of social justice (as indicated by an increase of keywords such as “Corporate social responsibility”: 6 occurrences in 2001; 522 in 2010) leads to the emergence of scepticism and grievances against the privileged rich (as indicated by an increase of keywords such as “Hate-rich”: 0 in 2001; 1257 in 2010). Failure to identify the social confrontation and to exert the Government’s role of resource redistribution will lead to governance crisis (Hall, Critcher, Jefferson, Clarke, and Roberts, 1978). Hence, the manager requires indication tools to assess the situation (Holzer and Kloby, 2005). A quantifiable social indicator of media coverage (Bengston and Fan, 1999) is required to evaluate objectively the qualitative social tension.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-84
Number of pages16
JournalAdvances in Applied Sociology
Issue number3
Early online dateMar 2014
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • Poverty Gap
  • Income Disparity
  • Social Indicator
  • Governance Crisis
  • Economic and Social Tensions
  • Media and Public Opinions


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