The politics of the minimum wage in Hong Kong

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6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article provides an account of the recent introduction of a minimum wage in Hong Kong in 2011. Traditional welfare state theories had their origins in rich democracies. We refine the theoretical arguments in accordance with the semi-democratic nature of Hong Kong. We argue that the legislation was initiated reluctantly by the business-friendly government under unfavourable economic conditions. Any subsequent concessions to labour were not attributable to labour strength or political oppositions, which were very weak. Instead, multiple miscalculations by the politically dominant business side allowed the labour movement to gain limited grounds throughout the struggle. We also apply our arguments to the case of Singapore, illustrating how welfare state theories can be adapted to less democratic systems. Copyright © 2014 Journal of Contemporary Asia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-752
JournalJournal of Contemporary Asia
Volume44
Issue number4
Early online date02 May 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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minimum wage
welfare state
Hong Kong
labor
labor movement
politics
concession
Singapore
opposition
legislation
democracy
economics

Citation

Wong, M. Y. H. (2014). The politics of the minimum wage in Hong Kong. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 44(4), 735-752. doi: 10.1080/00472336.2014.906641

Keywords

  • Welfare state
  • Minimum wage
  • Semi-democracy
  • Business–state relationship
  • Labour movement
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore