Innovation for Hong Kong's Upward Social Mobility

47 5.3.4 Intergenerational mobility: In terms of intergenerational mobility, there is a correlation between the income of parents and the next generation. This means that there are obstacles in achieving intergenerational upward mobility. Vere’s research found that in 2008, if the income of parents in Hong Kong is 10% higher than the average income of their peers, the income of their children is expected to be 4.2% higher than the average income of their peers. Since the Hong Kong government is unwilling to forcibly redistribute income through taxation policies120, the intergenerational mobility of Hong Kong society is far lower than that of developed European countries. Although the average intergenerational mobility has improved in recent years, the intergenerational wealth transfer of high-income groups is still obvious121. All the above studies have shown that although the younger generation has significantly improved their educational level over the previous generation, they have encountered huge obstacles in moving to the upper class of society. The biggest reason for this is Hong Kong’s over-reliance on traditional economic drivers122. To solve this, the government must promote a series of policies related to technology and innovation development to create more new upward mobility ladders for the younger generation, thereby breaking the stagnant social hierarchy. Compared with the previous generation, most young people are more willing to embrace new technologies and are more able to adapt to technological changes. The new opportunities brought by technology and innovation can help young people develop upward and create more opportunities for social mobility. 120 Vere, J. (2010) Special topic enquiry on earnings mobility, pp. 32. Available from: [Accessed October 2020]. 121 Peng, C., Yip, P. S. F., & Law, Y. W. (2019). Intergenerational Earnings Mobility and Returns to Education in Hong Kong: A Developed Society with High Economic Inequality. Social Indicators Research, 143(1), 133-156. doi: 122 LegCo Secretariat (2015) “Social mobility in Hong Kong”, Research Brief Issues No.2 2014-15, pp. 10. 5 Upward Social Mobility