The shifting boundary between work and welfare - a review of active labour market policies in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-41
Journal / PublicationJournal of Asian Public Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


Work and self-reliance are the core values of neo-liberalist Hong Kong society. When the economy was booming, finding a job was not an issue. The real challenges began in the late 1990s due to successive economic crises which led to the adoption of active labour market policies. While social security protection has been provided for the unemployed, workfare and new programmes to encourage employment have been introduced, forming a link between passive and active labour market policies. Ideologically, there has been a further swing from passive welfare protection to active work promotion as the solution to unemployment. However, the passive welfare provision has not been drastically reduced. Expenditure has been maintained, not due to a lack of government resolve but because of the severity of the problems. Furthermore, pragmatic concern for social stability and government legitimacy make it difficult for it to be rolled back. © 2013 Copyright 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Research Area(s)

  • active labour market policies, employment, Hong Kong, social security, workfare