Graduation Year

Fall 2013

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Asian Studies

Second Department


Reader 1

Minxin Pei

Reader 2

Emily Chao

Rights Information

© 2013 Emmett Choy


Hong Kong is considered to be the most economically free country in the world, but also has the highest amount of income inequality of any developed country. The Hong Kong government is able to sustain laissez faire policies due to its monopoly on land supply. Maintaining high property values allows the government to maximize revenue from property tax, which acts as a hidden tax. A major contributor to income inequality is the formation of oligopolies in Hong Kong that creates an anticompetitive environment. The interests of the government and oligarchs are aligned as both obtain significant portions of revenue from the property sector. As globalization makes Hong Kong even more vulnerable to external shocks, the government faces the challenges of increasing competition, diversifying its revenue streams, and closing the income gap while standing by its principles in order maintain regional competitiveness as an international business hub.