HKUST PPOL Newsletter Fall 2023

18 Research Showcase Social and Urban Policy He, A. J., Liu, P., Yumeng, F., & Liu, H. (2023). Sending Professors to the Field: Does FacultyPractitioner Exchange Narrow the Theory-Practice Gap in China’s MPA Programs? Journal of Asian Public Policy, 16(1), 96-113. This paper examines the micro-dynamics of such exchange in Master of Public Administration (MPA) programs in China where the gap was particularly wide. 13 faculty instructors in Chinese MPA programs with experience in government engagement were interviewed. It was found that the instructors were predominantly driven by a keen awareness of their weak real-world exposure. The government engagement experience boosted their self-efficacy when teaching in-service students, and the empathy developed between instructors and students augmented educational outcomes. The engagement service strengthened the faculty instructors’ awareness of the theory-practice gap and their appreciation of students’ needs. They became more cognizant of the usefulness of various theories and more capable of relating theory to practice. He, A. J., Qian, J., Chan, W. S., & Chou, K. L. (2023). Willingness to Purchase Hypothetical Private Long-Term Care Insurance Plans in a Super-ageing Society: Evidence from Hong Kong. Journal of Aging & Social Policy, 1-26. This paper seeks to unravel the paradox of having soaring demand for long-term (LTC) services in aging societies on the one hand and the absence of a risk-pooling mechanism on the other through an empirical study in Hong Kong, a super-aging society. A survey sampled 1,105 respondents was conducted in 2020 to analyze middle-aged individuals’ willingness to purchase hypothetical private LTC insurance plans derived from a discrete choice experiment; clear barriers toward potential purchase have been identified in the study despite encouraging acceptance. It is found that the desire for self-sufficiency and preference for formal care powerfully increased individuals’ interest, but cognitive difficulty, habitual adherence to out-ofpocket payment, and unfamiliarity with the LTC insurance market reduced such interest. The results with reference to the changing social dynamics are explained, with policy implications for LTC reforms in Hong Kong and beyond drawn. Zhu, P., Wang, K., Ho, S. N. R., & Tan, X. (2023). How is Commute Mode Choice Related to Built Environment in a High-Density Urban Context? Cities, 134, 104180. This paper addresses the gap in mainstream studies that focus on the relationship between the built environment and travel behaviors in low-density urban settings by examining such relationships in highly dense urban settings, using Hong Kong as a case study. The findings highlight that built environment characteristics have a greater impact on people's choices among different public transport sub-modes compared to their choice between public transport and cars. Specifically, millennials are more influenced by built environment attributes when selecting rail-based and mixed-mode public transport, while older commuters are more influenced when choosing road-based transport. These results shed light on individuals' commuting mode preferences in transit-dominated urban contexts and provide a solid foundation for policymaking in encouraging the use of specific public transit sub-modes and catering to the needs of different age groups.