Tycoon City: Political Economy, Real Estate and the Super-Rich in Hong Kong

  • Bart Wissink
  • Sin Yee Koh
  • Ray Forrest
Part of the The Contemporary City book series (TCONTCI)


Hong Kong is highly unequal. In this chapter, we first show that wealth and inequality are structured by a political economy centring on small government and real estate profits. The underlying urban development model contains urbanisation, while restricting access to land to a small group that is fabulously rich. Next, we discern three reasons for the initial acceptance of this political economy: a mixed coalition reached sustained agreement on core policies; an ideology ‘sold’ these policies to the larger public; and social welfare policies redistributed benefits. Third, we argue that this support has now disappeared, because the government has been reluctant to face the consequences of domestic and foreign real estate investments for the non-rich. Unfortunately, a new social contract seems out of reach in the current political climate.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bart Wissink
    • 1
  • Sin Yee Koh
    • 2
  • Ray Forrest
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public PolicyCity University of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong
  2. 2.Institute of Asian StudiesUniversiti Brunei DarussalamGadongBrunei Darussalam

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