Construction and economic development: The case of Hong Kong

James M.W. Wong, Yat Hung Chiang, Thomas S. Ng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


The role of construction in economic development is an important issue facing the construction research community, government and international development agencies. Based on empirical analyses, the complexities of the relationship between construction activity and stage of economic development in Hong Kong were examined. With time series data, Granger causality test results show that the construction output particularly the infrastructure sector drives the economic growth of Hong Kong, and not vice versa. Findings further indicate that the role of the local construction industry changes as the economy matures from newly industrializing country (NIC) to advanced industrialized country (AIC) status, as revealed by the diminishing rate of capacity addition by construction as well as the growing maintenance and repair sector. This complies with Bon's inverted U-shaped relationship between construction activity and gross domestic product (GDP). However, the proposition of 'volume follows share' is not supported since the indigenous construction investments still sustain for the service-oriented economy which inevitably needs commercial development and logistics infrastructure to provide the services. The results may be significant for policy makers in NICs, in the long run, to formulate corporate and industrial policies to chart out a viable and sustainable course to revive the vigour of the industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-824
Number of pages12
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2008


  • Bon curve
  • Construction industry
  • Economic development
  • Hong Kong
  • Investments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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