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  • Poverty in a Rich Society

Poverty in a Rich Society

The Case of Hong Kong

Edited by Maggie K. W. LAU and David GORDON

English , 2017/03 The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press

Tags: Hong Kong Studies

229 x 152 mm , 240pp ISBN / ISSN : 978-962-996-788-8

  • US$52.00

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Hong Kong has remained a wealthy financial hub but its income inequality is greater than that in any developed economy. The growing unequal income distribution and poverty in Hong Kong have aroused public concern. This book brings together some of Hong Kong’s and the UK’s leading experts to examine poverty in Hong Kong from three perspectives: 1, public understanding of poverty, and the extent of poverty and social exclusion in Hong Kong society, 2, poverty and health as well as child poverty and educational opportunities in Hong Kong, and 3, effectiveness of poverty alleviation measures in Hong Kong. On this basis, this book timely advances the theory and practice of poverty and social exclusion measurement, and will inspire comparative research and policy analyses for better policy initiatives.

This collection was inspired by the workshop formed one key research output of the Poverty and Social Exclusion in Hong Kong (PSEHK) project funded by the Research Grants Council and the UK Economic and Social Research Council (http://www.poverty.hk/).


This collection represents the state of the art on poverty studies in Hong Kong and scholars and policy makers have much to learn from the contents.

Jonathan BRADSHAW (Emeritus Professor of Social Policy, University of York)

This book provides an important critical perspective on Hong Kong society and on the social problems that have not been eradicated by decades of free markets and economic growth. The authors show how policy deficiencies in the areas of social security, taxation, health, housing and education have prevented the fruits of economic growth from being widely shared and have contributed to high and entrenched levels of poverty. Together, the papers present evidence and arguments that make a compelling case for why reform is urgently needed to bring genuine prosperity to Hong Kong and all of its people.

Peter SAUNDERS (Research Professor in Social Policy, University of New South Wales)

Poverty in a Rich Society makes a timely and valuable contribution to understanding the different facets of poverty and social exclusion in Hong Kong.

—M. RAMESH (Professor of Social Policy, National University of Singapore)

Readers in the related fields will find comprehensive perspectives on the poverty study including subjective and objective measurements, health and education issues, social exclusion and social capital. The importance of public programs and policies have also been addressed to strengthen social justice and reduce income disparity. This is an insightful book for foreign researchers and students to understand the phenomenon of poverty in Hong Kong.

—Kate Yeong-Tysr WANG (Professor of Social Work, National Taiwan Normal University)

How actively and effectively have the Hong Kong society and government responded to the widening income gap and the more serious poverty issues in the city?  The Government spending on social security, welfare, health care and education programs has increased significantly and the government agency “Commission on Poverty” has been operated to solve the problems. Are these measures effective? Or are there any inadequacies?  The book answers these questions and on this basis provides suggestions. The book is a must read for all those who are concerned about the people of Hong Kong.

—Hoi Wai CHUA (Chief Executive, the Hong Kong Council of Social Service)

Maggie K. W. LAU is Research Associate Professor in the Asia-Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies at Lingnan University, Hong Kong.

David GORDON is Professor of Social Justice and the Director of the Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research at the University of Bristol, UK.

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