Asian Institute of International Financial Law
Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong
Real Estate Law and Finance
Land Options for Housing: How New Property Rights
Can Break Old Land Monopolies
12 June 2023 (Monday), 4:00 – 5:00 PM
Room 723, 7/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong
The world today is afflicted by the inequality of wealth created in large part by monopolistic ownership of land. Hong Kong, with the least affordable housing in the world, provides a particularly apt example of how property law protects such monopolies – and also how the creation of new property rights can break them up. The Speaker will use Hong Kong as a case study to suggest both a diagnosis and a solution to two aspects of property law that slow down the creation of housing. First, the division of property rights between private owners and the government creates a bilateral monopoly that results in a gridlock. Second, reallocating property rights to end such a gridlock is impeded by the reciprocal causation between property rights and political influence – what the speaker calls a “constituency effect” of property law. Rather than attempt a frontal assault on existing holdings that would likely be foiled by such constituency effects, the speaker suggests that the government should create entirely new property rights around which new interest groups could form. By giving every Hong Kong resident “land options for housing” (LOHs), the government could create a competitive market for development rights that simultaneously ends the gridlock of monopoly and creates a new constituency to lobby for more housing.
About the Speaker:
Shitong Qiao is Professor of Law and the Ken Young-Gak Yun and Jinah Park Yun Research Scholar at Duke Law School. Professor Qiao is an expert on property and urban law with a focus on comparative law and China. His first monograph, Chinese Small Property: The Co-Evolution of Law and Social Norms, explores the relationship between law and market transition, and has won multiple prizes in the U.S. and Asia. He is working on his second monograph, The Authoritarian Commons, which explores the relationship between law and social transformation. His most recent publications include Finance against Law: The Case of China with Harvard International Law Journal.
Chair: Dr Alwin Chan, Principal Lecturer, Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong
Registration is required. Please register ONLINE to reserve your place.
Enquiries: Flora Leung at