Socially embedded anti‐corruption governance: Evidence from Hong Kong

Ting GONG, Hanyu XIAO

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we seek to identify and explain what factors influence citizens' propensity to confront corruption by reporting suspected corruption cases. From a macro–micro interactive perspective, which we term ‘socially embedded anti‐corruption governance’, we make two propositions focusing on intrinsic and extrinsic factors, respectively. We believe, first, that citizens' response to suspected corrupt behaviour is a good indicator of the level of their tolerance for corruption. If corruption is unacceptable to citizens, they would be more likely to report suspected corruption cases. However, a low level of tolerance of corruption alone does not necessarily explain why people report corruption. We further argue that people's willingness to confront corruption is also affected by the extent to which they are satisfied with and have confidence in the government's anti‐corruption endeavours. Drawing on data collected from an original survey of 1025 local residents in Hong Kong, we test the two hypotheses. Our findings confirm that the propensity to report suspected corruption results from both a low level of tolerance towards corruption and the positive perception of the quality of anti‐corruption governance. The implications of our findings for other regions, especially Mainland China, are explored. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-190
JournalPublic Administration and Development
Issue number3
Early online date05 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


Gong, T., & Xiao, H. (2017). Socially embedded anti‐corruption governance: Evidence from Hong Kong. Public Administration and Development, 37(3), 176-190. doi: 10.1002/pad.1798


  • Corruption
  • Anti-corruption reform
  • Quality of governance
  • Reporting corruption
  • ICAC
  • Hong Kong


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