Selectorate theory in hybrid regimes: Comparing Hong Kong and Singapore

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This article investigates public and private goods provision in two hybrid regimes: Hong Kong and Singapore. We build on the selectorate theory, which analyses all regimes in terms of the size of their leaders' support coalitions. This research follows a differences-in-differences design, with the exogenous political change in Hong Kong in 1997 as a treatment and Singapore as a control case. This study contributes to the literature in two ways. First, as the aim of the selectorate theory is to transcend traditional regime typologies, a focus on hybrid regimes provides another test of the theory beyond the democratic-authoritarian divide. Second, the distinctive comparative set-up allows us to disentangle the effects of the size of the winning coalition from those of supporter loyalty. The empirical results demonstrate that whilst public goods increase with the winning coalition size, private goods provision is not affected unless accompanied by a change in supporter loyalty. Copyright © The Author 2017.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-734
JournalGovernment and Opposition
Issue number4
Early online date06 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


Wong, M. Y. H. (2018). Selectorate theory in hybrid regimes: Comparing Hong Kong and Singapore. Government and Opposition, 53(4), 707-734. doi: 10.1017/gov.2017.10


  • Selectorate theory
  • Hybrid regimes
  • Democracy
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Public spending


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