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Fixing Inequality in Hong Kong$
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Yue Chim Richard Wong

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390625

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390625.001.0001

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Growing up in Hong Kong before and after 1980

Growing up in Hong Kong before and after 1980

A Statistical Portrait of Education Opportunities

(p.156) 20 Growing up in Hong Kong before and after 1980
Fixing Inequality in Hong Kong

Yue Chim Richard Wong

Hong Kong University Press

Individual income inequality has worsened because of underinvestment in education. A child born today with a good “birth lottery” is worth more than one born into the same family circumstances in the past, because their education will have a higher rate of return. Intergenerational upward mobility measured in schooling opportunities was largely unchanged for those born in the period 1956–1991. However, a subset born in the period 1961–1976 saw improved opportunities due to the waves of emigration Hong Kong experienced due to political unrest and uncertainty. Many policy advocates have used rising income inequality measures to push for income redistribution. But this merely tries to fix the measures of income inequality. Redistribution will not halt the underlying forces that are driving a more unequal distribution of incomes over time. Rising inequality can only be prevented by expanding education opportunities and encouraging couples to stay together.

Keywords:   Education, opportunities, Income, Household income inequality, Individual income inequality

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