Unequal Vulnerability to Social Risks: Analysis of Hong Kong’s Social Strata (1993–2013)

  • Chi Kit ChanEmail author
  • David Wai Lun Ho
Part of the Studies in the Political Economy of Public Policy book series (PEPP)


This chapter demonstrates the vulnerability to social risks of varying social strata in Hong Kong. We consolidate and compare the income, occupational statistics and employment conditions vis-à-vis key economic indicators from 1993 to 2013. The study period covers several global economic crises with which Hong Kong significantly afflicted since its handover to China—notably the Asian financial storm (1998), the epidemic crisis of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) (2003), and the global financial tsunami (2008–09). Despite the recovery of Hong Kong’s economy since the aftermath of the financial tsunami, data show divergent employment conditions between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ throughout the study period. The findings are indicative of unequal vulnerability to social risks of different social strata. This study thus echoes to the scholarly dialogue surrounding risk society theory, in particular the unequal distribution of social risk to those with varying socio-economic conditions.



The authors would like to thank Ms. Liu Yi Kwan, Joanne, for her assistance in data analysis and writing.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of CommunicationHang Seng Management CollegeHong KongChina
  2. 2.School of General Education and LanguagesTechnological and Higher Education Institute of Hong KongHong KongChina

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