Katherine Kane


Majors: Economics and Global Asia Studies

Thesis Advisor: Dr. Todd Yarbrough Department of Economics

Document Type



Hong Kong’s free economy has major influence in Asia and around the world. Because of the rising political tension between Hong Kong and Mainland China, the city’s economy is at risk. There has been a long history of political dissent in the city showing a growing disapproval of the Beijing government. The political and sociological impact of activism has been extensively discussed in the literature. However, few studies have statistically tested the economic implications of the protests. During the 2014 Umbrella Movement and the 2019-20 Extradition Bill Protests, the city’s retail and tourism sectors have seen significant disruptions. This may be caused by a strategic attempt from pro-democracy protesters to create an economic resistance movement. In an effort to pressure the policy makers into addressing protest demands, local consumers are encouraged to participate in boycotts. This paper seeks to measure the causal effect of political activism on Hong Kong’s business sector using time-series data from 2006-2019. The study finds that for years in which active protests take place in Hong Kong, the change in local retail sales declines by 10.58%.