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Big City, Small Pay: Minimum Wage for Hong Kong?  
Product Ref: 08/379C Company: .

Product Type: Case Industry: Public Policy & Strategy

Related Product(s): Teaching Note
Authors: Ka-Fu Wong   Ricky Lai
Unlike most developed economies around the world, Hong Kong did not have a minimum wage law to protect workers' livelihoods. Attempts by the Legislative Council to motion for legislation governing minimum wage and standard working hours had ultimately been unsuccessful. A major reason was considerable opposition from the business community, which feared that deviating from a purely market-dictated wage regime would hurt Hong Kong's position as the world's freest economy and aggravate unemployment.

In late 2006, the Hong Kong government launched the Wage Protection Movement, a program designed to protect the wage level of cleaning workers and security guards through voluntary and non-legislative means. It was, however, met with vicious attacks from members of the Legislative Council who advocated a minimum wage, accusing the government of not heeding the plight of low-income earners and instead allowing the issue to drag on without legislation.

This case is about economics and business, introducing the topics of minimum wage legislation, Hong Kong's unique economic situation and the probable effects of a minimum wage on the world's freest economy.
Functional Area : Economics & Business Policy

Issues: Hong Kong economy, wage policy, labour market, employment and underemployment
Length: Text: 8 pages
Exhibits: 6 pages
Country: Hong Kong SAR

Pub. Year: 2008 Level of Difficulty: 2
This product type is available in the following language(s):      English
Related Information: N/A
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