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Judicial Independence in a Civil Law Regime: The Evidence from Japan

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Author Info

  • Ramseyer, J Mark
  • Rasmusen, Eric B

Abstract

Because the Japanese judiciary exclusively hires young and unproven jurists for its lower courts, it maintains elaborate career incentive structures. We use personnel data on 276 judges (every judge hired between 1961 and 1965) to explore the determinants of career success and test whether politicians manipulate those incentives. We find strong evidence that the system rewards the most productive judges, but little evidence of ongoing school cliques, and no evidence that the system favors judges who mediate over those who write opinions. We also find that even as late as the 1980s, those judges who joined a prominent leftist organization in the 1960s were still receiving less attractive jobs than their colleagues. Moreover, judges who decided a case against the government incurred the rise that the government would punish them with less attractive posts. Finally, judges who declared unconstitutional a crucial section of the electoral law received less attractive posts than those who held it constitutional. Copyright 1997 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Law, Economics and Organization.

Volume (Year): 13 (1997)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 259-86

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:13:y:1997:i:2:p:259-86

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. J. Mark Ramseyer & Eric B. Rasmusen, 2001. "When are Judges and Bureaucrats Left Independent? Theory and History from Imperial Japan, Postwar Japan, and the United States," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-126, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  2. Martin Schneider, 2002. "Judicial Lawmaking in a Civil Law System: Evidence from German Labor Courts of Appeal," IAAEG Discussion Papers until 2011 200202, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
  3. Daniel P. Kessler & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 2004. "Empirical Study of the Civil Justice System," NBER Working Papers 10825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Pablo T. Spiller & Sanny Liao, 2006. "Buy, Lobby or Sue: Interest Groups' Participation in Policy Making - A Selective Survey," NBER Working Papers 12209, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & La Porta, Rafael & Shleifer, Andrei, 2008. "The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins," Scholarly Articles 2962610, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Pablo T. Spiller, 2003. "The Institutional Foundations of Public Policy: A Transactions Approach with Application to Argentina," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 281-306, October.
  7. George Tridimas, 2010. "Constitutional judicial review and political insurance," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 81-101, February.
  8. Lars P. Feld & Stefan Voigt, 2004. "Making Judges Independent – Some Proposals Regarding the Judiciary+," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200429, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  9. Padovano, Fabio & Fiorino, Nadia, 2012. "Strategic delegation and “judicial couples” in the Italian Constitutional Court," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 215-223.
  10. Tom Ginsburg, 2002. "Comparative Administrative Procedure: Evidence from Northeast Asia," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 247-264, September.
  11. Brooks, Robert & Davidson, Sinclair & Faff, Robert, 2003. "Sudden changes in property rights: the case of Australian native title," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 427-442, December.
  12. Fabio Padovano, 2009. "The time-varying independence of Italian peak judicial institutions," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 230-250, September.
  13. Pushkar Maitra & Russell Smyth, 2004. "Judicial Independence, Judicial Promotion and the Enforcement of Legislative Wealth Transfers—An Empirical Study of the New Zealand High Court," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 209-235, March.
  14. Pablo T. Spiller & Rafael Gely, 2007. "Strategic Judicial Decision Making," NBER Working Papers 13321, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Ariane Lambert-Mogiliansky & Konstantin Sonin & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2007. "Are Russian Commercial Courts Biased? Evidence from a Bankruptcy Law Transplant," Working Papers w0099, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  16. Hadfield, Gillian K., 2008. "The levers of legal design: Institutional determinants of the quality of law," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 43-73, March.
  17. Carney, Richard, 2004. "Economic Backwardness in Security Perspective," MPRA Paper 3279, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Martin Schneider, 2005. "Judicial Career Incentives and Court Performance: An Empirical Study of the German Labour Courts of Appeal," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 127-144, September.

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