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Impacts of financial crisis on social engagement in Hong Kong


  • Cheung, Chau-kiu
  • Ng, Sik Hung


While a financial crisis must afflict people financially, its impacts on people's social life are unclear. Essentially, different theories expect different impacts of the financial crisis on people's social engagement. The present study thereby clarifies the effect by examining the experienced impact of the crisis on social engagement, in terms of participation in voluntary association and caring for acquaintances. Data for the study came from a survey of 1170 Hong Kong Chinese adults. Results show that the experienced impact tended to raise the participation, which in turn appeared to encourage the caring. These results support the functional explanation, which holds that the fiscal crisis generates a need for functions of voluntary associations. Meanwhile, the results are at odds with the resource thesis, which expects that the crisis would deprive resources required for social engagement. The results imply that the financial crisis can be a lever to strengthen social engagement.

Suggested Citation

  • Cheung, Chau-kiu & Ng, Sik Hung, 2012. "Impacts of financial crisis on social engagement in Hong Kong," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 623-632.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:41:y:2012:i:5:p:623-632 DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2012.05.003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martin Ravallion & Michael Lokshin, 2007. "Lasting Impacts of Indonesia’s Financial Crisis," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 27-56.
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    More about this item


    Financial crisis; Socioeconomic change; Social engagement; Voluntary organization;

    JEL classification:

    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management


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