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Distributed for Hong Kong University Press

Hands On or Hands Off? The Nature and Process of Economic Policy in Hong Kong

Is Hong Kong’s approach to economic policy really as ‘hands off’ as we are led to believe? How are economic policies determined within Hong Kong’s unique governance structure? Tony Latter draws on his deep knowledge of Hong Kong drawn from years in senior positions in the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and Government Secretariat to answer these two central questions about Hong Kong’s economic management. He provides both general and specialist readers with an original and wide-ranging exploration of the workings of Hong Kong’s economy and the way its economic policies are determined. Challenging Hong Kong’s ‘hands off’ image, the author finds and critiques copious instances of government intervention over the years. He also examines how the government’s much vaunted budgetary discipline is less ‘laissez faire’ than the numbers suggest. Overall, policy formation seems to lack a rigorous, consistent analytical framework. Officials often do not appreciate the distinction between violations of the ‘hands off’ principle that desirably improve the ‘supply side’, and violations which foster particular sectors and special interests, frequently influenced by business heavyweights with direct access to the territory’s leadership. This book should be read by anyone interested in Hong Kong’s economic policy and the processes that underlie it. It will appeal not only to general readers, but to business and professional people who have to function within this unique system of economic management, as well as to academics and researchers in the fields of economics, business or politics.

164 pages | 5.5 x 8.5

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