Asymmetric Income Segregation

22 Pages Posted: 19 May 2009 Last revised: 21 May 2009

See all articles by Edward Chung Yim Yiu

Edward Chung Yim Yiu

University of Auckland Business School

Zheng Hua Huang

Wuhan University

Yishuang Xu

the University of Hong Kong

Date Written: May 19, 2009


Income segregation is found to be a common phenomenon, which imposes far-reaching implications on housing and social policies. However, the focus has long been on its extent rather than on its distribution. This study investigates the asymmetric relationship between household income and income segregation in Hong Kong, by studying the census data in 2001 and in 2006, compiled by the Hong Kong SAR Government. The result shows that segregation is more intense among high household income districts, which cannot be explained by the existing theories. We put forward a novel hypothesis, based on a one-sided self-reinforcing and spatial-diffusing model, which helps explain the underlying cause of asymmetric income segregation. The model is well supported by both a theoretical simulation and an empirical test.

Keywords: income segregation, household income, spatial autocorrelation, private housing market

JEL Classification: R12, R21

Suggested Citation

Yiu, Edward Chung Yim and Huang, Zheng Hua and XU, Yishuang, Asymmetric Income Segregation (May 19, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Edward Chung Yim Yiu (Contact Author)

University of Auckland Business School ( email )

12 Grafton Rd
Private Bag 92019
Auckland, 1010
New Zealand

HOME PAGE: http://

Zheng Hua Huang

Wuhan University ( email )

Wuhan, Hubei 43072

Yishuang XU

the University of Hong Kong ( email )

room533, knowles building
the University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong, 999999
Hong Kong

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