Labour shortage responses in Japan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia: A review and evaluation

This paper looks at the extent of and policy responses to the problem of labour shortage in the economies of Japan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia.

The labour shortage has both economic and demographic roots in these economies, except in Malaysia where it is mainly of economic origin. Policy responses are categorized into raising productivity, extending employment, enlisting the inactive and unemployed, importing workers, offshoring and outsourcing, and improving fertility. The five countries undertook different mixes of policy responses to labour shortage with varying degrees of effectiveness.