Alfred M. Wu

Alfred M. Wu
National University of Singapore | NUS · Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

PhD

About

48
Publications
18,597
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
688
Citations
Introduction
My research interests include public sector reform, central-local fiscal relations, corruption and governance, and social protection in Greater China.

Publications

Publications (48)
Article
Full-text available
Objectives To investigate whether social trust is associated with more stress symptoms among middle-aged and older adults in six East and Southeast Asia regions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods This multi-region study used cross-sectional survey data collected in May 2020. Participants were a probability-based internet sample of adults aged 5...
Article
Full-text available
Social development around the world has been stunted by the lack of a comprehensive understanding and definition of public value. Public value theory can provide guidance, and inform a universal standard for social development. However, it is difficult to define and measure public value due to its philosophical complexity. Public values are driven...
Article
Full-text available
This article investigates the nuanced and disaggregated role of state and civil society in the fight against COVID-19 in Hong Kong and Singapore through a comparative policy study. Hong Kong and Singapore provide two contrasting cases of state-society interaction under the framework of Political Nexus Triads (PNT). Hong Kong combats COVID-19 with g...
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to investigate age-related differences in social spending preference in an Asian context, drawing on a random survey of more than 1000 adults in Hong Kong in 2013. Contrary to popular belief, older adults in Hong Kong hold a negative view toward welfare spending, especially when it is directed toward the poor population. In contrast...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose-The purpose of this study is to investigate how a country's competitive tax policy influences its inward foreign direct investments (FDI) in the Asia-Pacific region, even when given particular constraints (e.g., population, public governance, skilled labor, and so on) exist. Design/methodology/approach-The paper uses the system GMM estima...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose - The purpose of this study is to investigate how a country’s competitive tax policy influences its inward foreign direct investments (FDI) in the Asia-Pacific region, even when given particular constraints (e.g., population, public governance, skilled labor, and so on) exist. Design/methodology/approach - The paper uses the system GMM est...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the different styles of anti-corruption strategy, particularly at the local level in China and India. In China there has been a central push with a role of anti-corruption agencies that have law-enforcement power. In India there has been a focus on institutional building together with a visible role of the civil society. China h...
Article
Full-text available
Both China and India are adopting information and communication technologies to facilitate openness and transparency in their governments, and hence reduce corruption. Distinctive from their traditional anticorruption approaches, is the innovative e‐government approach an effective solution to corruption in these two large developing countries? Thi...
Article
Full-text available
The paper investigates the puzzling phenomenon of why Hong Kong citizens have much lower support for increasing spending on social assistance when all other welfare programs have been favored by local residents. With a random sampling survey, we find that citizens' support towards raising the requirement of immigration is negatively correlated with...
Research
Full-text available
Contact-tracing apps, testing, and lockdowns have been used in different contexts to fight COVID-19, but without building the social capital needed to implement policy, containing the virus would be impossible.
Article
Full-text available
China has emerged as one of the world’s most active markets for public–private partnerships (PPP) in the water sector, while the pace of such development globally has slowed in recent years. This article investigates the dynamics of the development of PPP projects in the Chinese water sector through comparative case studies. Our findings suggest th...
Article
Full-text available
Without election or re-election motivations, what factors have impacted public goods preferences in an authoritarian country such as China? More specifically, what makes political elites be devoted to or not be devoted to local public goods provision? This study, using basic education provision as an example, intends to gauge the impact of leadersh...
Article
Full-text available
In the literature on urban studies, the size distribution of cities has been attributed to a random growth process where transportation externalities, congestion costs, and capital formation all play a crucial role. However, the classic economics models do not fully capture the impact of political institutions, particularly fiscal decentralization,...
Chapter
Full-text available
Many countries around the world commit themselves to providing their citizens with equal access to educational opportunities and an even distribution of educational resources through different policies and measures. The policy initiated by China in the late 1990s to expand college and university enrolment was intended to enable more citizens to gai...
Article
Full-text available
Decentralised economic development initiatives empowering local governments have gained currency in both developed and developing contexts. The empowerment of county governments in China is a case in point. This study uses difference-in-differences (DID) and the fixed-effects model with panel data (1997–2008) in counties in Zhejiang Province to emp...
Chapter
Full-text available
This article explores the nature of China’s land-use rights system, its evolution and impact on resource allocation and local governments’ public finances. In recent decades, the public ownership of land has not hindered the development of a thriving market economy. Since the inception of the economic reform, land-use rights, a new institution, hav...
Article
Full-text available
Using a nationwide county-level panel dataset for the years 1995–2009, this paper conducts the first analysis in the literature to examine the impacts of fiscal decentralization and fiscal equalization, both measured at the sub-provincial level, on intra-provincial inequality in China. While fiscal decentralization offers significant advantages reg...
Article
Full-text available
This article attempts to investigate the relationship between the massification of higher education, labour market and social mobility in contemporary China. Though only a short period of time has elapsed from elite to mass education, China’s higher education has been characterised as a wide, pervasive massification process. Similar to other East A...
Article
Full-text available
This paper aims to shed fresh light on rural-urban interaction and urbanization in a non-Western authoritarian context. It describes the change in post-Mao China from very vertical and separate government hierarchies for rural and urban areas, which inhibited rural-urban interactions, to a city-managing-county model, with rural counties around a ci...
Article
Using a phone survey conducted in 2012, we examined whether there is a gender difference in financial literacy among Hong Kong workers; and if such a difference exists, whether it can be explained by gender differences in sociodemographic variables, social or psychological factors, and/or the outcomes of retirement planning. Results show a gender g...
Article
The drivers of public support for redistributive policy have stimulated academic debate around the world. The majority of studies use cross-country surveys conducted in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries to contribute to the debate on whether self-interest or social values have more influence on public attitudes to...
Book
Full-text available
• Makes the first systematic review of the civil service pay system in China. • Investigates civil service pay reforms and their impact on public governance in China, including the fight against corruption. • Deepens our understanding of China’s reform process. As agents of the state, civil servants play a central role in public governance and soci...
Article
Full-text available
This book is a significant contribution to scholarship on the political economy of China and India. Home to a combined population of 2.5 billion people, and accounting for an estimated one-third of the world’s income by 2025 (p.1), these two countries are becoming the engine of the global economy, as was demonstrated during the global financial mel...
Article
Full-text available
China's urbanization is significant worldwide. This process is characterized by underurbanization of population and fast urban land expansion. The driving forces behind this expansion and their rationale are not fully understood and empirically tested. This study fills this gap by analyzing panel data from 1999–2009 for all 286 prefecture-level cit...
Article
Full-text available
The 2008–2009 global financial crisis has made budget management and fiscal responsibility more imperative in many developed economies. A budget crisis has not occurred in emerging economies such as China. However, in China, the demands of fiscal responsibility have increased against the backdrop of bulging government revenues in recent years. Over...
Article
Full-text available
The extent to which social protection programmes in general, and targeted programmes in particular, actually alleviate poverty has been a central issue in development debates for decades. The objective of this article is to contribute to the debate by empirically examining the poverty-alleviation effects of one of the largest targeted programmes in...
Article
Full-text available
Using an interdisciplinary model of financial planning, we investigated the factors contributing to perceived adequacy of retirement savings among Hong Kong workers by replicating a previous study of American and Dutch workers. The model was also tested for age differences in the way in which the variables operated within the model. These questions...
Article
Full-text available
This study is the first attempt to examine the determinants of expenditure decentralization at sub-provincial levels in China. The Chinese central government gives detailed guidelines to local governments on public finance, but, ironically, their expenditure assignment is far from being well-regulated. Differences in fiscal decentralization on the...
Article
Full-text available
China's central–local relations have been marked by perpetual changes amidst economic restructuring. Fiscal decentralization on the expenditure side has been paralleled by centralization on the revenue side, accompanied by political centralization. Hence, our understanding of China's fiscal relations is not without controversy. This paper aims to m...
Article
Full-text available
Decentralized governance is often viewed as an effective way to improve public services and government accountability. Many also document the negative dimensions of fiscal decentralization, especially in transition economies; thus, the combination of decentralization and centralized control has gained currency in some countries in recent years. Bas...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on field research and statistical data, this article is an original contribution to the understanding of the public sector “equal pay” policy and, more broadly, income distribution in China. The making and development of the equal pay policy epitomize the complexity and challenges in promoting wealth distribution in China. Surging governmen...
Article
Full-text available
The temporal persistence and geographical prevalence of corruption in the world have provoked a vast amount of research into its causes. Low civil service remuneration, especially in less developed nations, is believed to be an important contributing factor to corruption. The assumption is that when salaries are low but expectations for service rem...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines a particular type of central mandate in China, the mandate for nationwide across-the-board salary increases in the public sector. The making and implementation of this mandate epitomizes the changes and challenges in intergovernmental relations of a transition economy. Our findings show that although the central pay mandates w...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates the determinants of government size at the provincial level in China. We employ the panel data model as a platform for empirical analysis and control for endogeneity in the study. Our study shows that openness to trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) may curtail government expansion, and that the provincial-level public...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
This project will compare public health measures and citizen responses across six regions in East and Southeast Asia, i.e., Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Using a longitudinal survey with experimental designs, this project will: 1) examine how these regions responded to the pandemic; 2) examine citizens’ attitudes and behaviors in coping with the crisis, as well as their views and expectations towards public health measures; and 3) evaluate the impact of the pandemic on their mental, economic, and social well-being.
Project
This project will identify the conditions that account for the revival of CHTAs across the four metropolises in East and Southeast Asia and explain why CHTAs are more robust in some regions than in others. Revival is defined as whether these century-old organizations have expanded in size, territory, or service and transcended class, generation or border. We will also examine whether the restructuring originated with the immigrants’ voluntary actions, was incentivized by Chinese capital investment, was appropriated by state actions.