Hong Kong wages and welfare

Mathew Y. H. Wong of the Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Hong Kong, and Department of Government, University of Essex, has a new article, “The Politics of the Minimum Wage in Hong Kong” available.

He provides an account of the introduction of a minimum wage in Hong Kong in 2011. Traditional welfare state theories had their origins in rich democracies. The article refines theoretical arguments in accordance with the semi-democratic nature of Hong Kong. Wong argues that the legislation was initiated reluctantly by the business-friendly government under unfavourable economic conditions. The concessions made were not attributable to labour strength or political oppositions. Rather, multiple miscalculations by politically-dominant business allowed the labour movement to gain limited ground throughout the struggle. The arguments are also applied to Singapore, illustrating how welfare state theories can be adapted to less democratic systems.

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