Hong Kong's Welfare Model Reconsidered - What Model?. What Traits? And What Functions?

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (without host publication)peer-review

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Author(s)

  • Linda WONG

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2008

Conference

Title2008 EASP 5th Conference on Welfare Reform in East Asia
PlaceTaiwan
CityTaipei
Period3 - 4 November 2008

Abstract

From a liberal standpoint, Hong Kong's welfare model is often seen as an embarrassment. On the other hand, conservatives hail it as a vindication of Hong Kong's free market system. Little consensus is reached on what the model actually is, the features that are unique to it and what functions it fulfills for society. The paper is an attempt to examine these issues. It is argued that after many decades of incremental improvements, Hong Kong has developed its special welfare approach that differs from the classic residual paradigm and the East Asian Welfare Model. Neither does it rely so heavily on the use of social security as the main instrument of social protection that is characteristic of welfare systems in industrial economies. The extant system represents a complex mix of residual strands as well as principles of universalism and social equity. Under this system, all social classes benefit, albeit to varying extents. By the standards of advanced welfare states, of course, benefits are not generous but neither are they niggardly. In terms of service delivery, both civil society and the state are key players. In particular, the state plays a bigger role than is commonly conceded. It is also found that the system exhibits considerable stability and effectiveness, which can be attributed to the distribution template that cuts across class lines. Nevertheless the system faces key challenges that demand redress and responses to new problems.

Citation Format(s)

Hong Kong's Welfare Model Reconsidered - What Model?. What Traits? And What Functions? / WONG, Linda.
2008. Paper presented at 2008 EASP 5th Conference on Welfare Reform in East Asia, Taipei, Taiwan.

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (without host publication)peer-review