Public Policy at HKU

Poverty Alleviation

The globalization of Hong Kongwas accompanied with social polarization and widening income inequality. The Gini coefficient, an index of measuring income disparity, has increased from 0.476 in 1991 to 0.537 in 2011 which is the highest among the developed countries.

The first official poverty line and poverty figures were published by the Hong Kong SAR Government in September 2013.  In 2012, the number of people living below the poverty line before government intervention stood at 1.31 million, representing 19.6% of the population.  After taking into account of government recurrent cash transfer, the number dropped to 1.02 million, representing 15.2% of the population.  The inclusion of other non-recurrent cash transfer and in-kind transfer such as the indirect subsidy to public rental housing tenants, decreased the total number further to 0.67 million, i.e. 10.1% of the population. This highlights the crucial need for multiagency collaboration to accurately target poverty policy.

The faculty collaborate with the Economic Analysis and Business Facilitation Unit, the Census and Statistics Department and Central Policy Unit to address poverty alleviation including the development of new models of poverty line for Hong Kong and methodology to estimate the impact of various types of government intervention on poverty alleviation.


Project Team: Dr. Chui Ernest Wing Tak, Dr. Law Chi Kwong, Professor Yip Paul Siu Fai,
Professor Chow Nelson Wing Sun


Selected Projects

  1. Study on Determinants of Poverty and Potential Interventions to Alleviate Poverty in Hong Kong, funded by Chief Executive Project, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.
  2. Study of the Old Age Pension in Hong Kong, funded by the Central Policy Unit HKSAR
  3. Review on the Conduct of a Social Impact Study, funded by Urban Renewal Authority HKSAR.
  4. The impact of the use of ICT on the development of children in low-income families, funded by Research Grants Council
  5. The relationship between the government and the social welfare sector, funded by the Central Policy Unit, HKSAR
  6. Case Study of Social Enterprises, funded by Commission on Poverty