Public attitudes towards income redistribution: Evidence from Hong Kong

Muluan Alfred WU, Kee Lee CHOU

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26 Citations (Scopus)


The drivers of public support for redistributive policy have stimulated academic debate around the world. The majority of studies use cross-country surveys conducted in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries to contribute to the debate on whether self-interest or social values have more influence on public attitudes towards redistribution. Drawing on a phone survey conducted in 2013, this study advances the discussion by investigating public attitudes towards redistribution and social policy changes against the backdrop of buoyant government revenues in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong welfare model, best seen as a parallel to the liberal welfare state, is selective and residual. Contrary to the usual assumption, the social values hypothesis, viewing poverty as societal problems instead of individual reasons, has been supported in the Hong Kong context. It lends support to greater redistribution in a residual welfare state. The policy implications of the findings are also discussed. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-754
JournalSocial Policy & Administration
Issue number5
Early online dateNov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


Wu, A. M., & Chou, K.-L. (2017). Public attitudes towards income redistribution: Evidence from Hong Kong. Social Policy & Administration, 51(5), 738-754.


  • Hong Kong
  • Redistribution
  • Public attitude
  • Poverty
  • Income inequality


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