International labour migration : the case of Hong Kong

Alternative Title

勞動人口之跨國移徒 : 香港個案之研究

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Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies


This paper traced the labour flows in and out of Hong Kong since the second world war using a human capital theory framework. It is shown that most of Hong Kong’s history was marked by an inflow of economic migrants. Even as a wave of politically induced emigrants emerged in the 80s the inflow of economic migrants and workers on employment visas continued, underlining Hong Kong’s increasing prosperity and contributing toward that prosperity at the same time. Because of changes in immigration regulations the number of immigrants from China dropped drastically in 1980 and further in 1983. Together with underlying demographic trends and emigration, these changes precipitated the serious labour shortage that emerged after 1987. Recently the government has relaxed its restrictions on importing labour. Yet the current labour importation scheme is fraught with many pitfalls. A per-head levy on imported labour, plus a more flexible immigration policy, are found to offer a far better longer-term solution to the secular labour shortage problem in Hong Kong. 本文採用人力資本理論分析勞動人口自戰後以來進出香港的趨勢,發現多年來香港對經濟移民的吸引力從未間斷。即使於80年代不少港人受政治前景困擾外移,經濟移民和勞工仍不斷湧入。此趨勢一方面反映本港經濟蓬勃,一方面亦助長了本港的發展。然而,自從1980年及1983年香港收緊移民規例後,來自大陸的經濟移民大幅減少,加上人口結構的變化及移民外流,勞工短缺問題由一九八七年起日益嚴重。港府近年雖然一再放寬入口勞工政策,所採取的措施卻仍多缺陷。本文建議政府一方面對入口勞工徵收一項人頭稅,同時亦採用靈活的移民政策,作為解決勞工短缺問題的長遠對策。



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Copyright © 1991 Lok-sang Ho, Pak-wai Liu and Kit-chun Lam. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.



Recommended Citation

Ho, L. S., Liu, P. W., & Lam, K. C. (1991). International labour migration: The case of Hong Kong [Monograph]. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies.

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