The Chicago School of Law and Economics Comes to Japan

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Mark Ramseyer has been a leading force in bringing to bear the methods of Law and Economics to a continuing analysis of the Japanese legal and economic system. He has deliberately assumed an iconoclastic position in debunking a number of widely held beliefs about Japan. In this paper we analyse Ramseyer’s contribution and conclude that he has too frequently let ideological objectives interfere with what should be cool headed analysis. While asking many of the right questions he unfortunately has let a priori assumptions determine his answers. By doing so he has opened up the door for policy makers to rationalize their preconceived objectives based upon strained empirical interpretations. This is particularly dangerous given the increased trade negotiations within the Asia Pacific region including Japan. Such convoluted analysis creates the possibility for expedient public policy that can lead to inferior legal solutions dominating more productive legislation. This can be clearly seen in the case of consumer reations.


Keywords: Ramseyer, Japan, Law and Economics, Public Policy
Stream: Politics, Public Policy and Law
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: , Chicago School of Law and Economics Comes to Japan, The


Dr. Craig Farrell Freedman

Associate Professor, Economics Department, Macquarie University
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Associate Professor - Macquarie University
Director - Centre for Japanese Economic Studies

Dr. Luke Nottage

Senior Lecturer, Sydney Law School, Sydney University
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Luke Nottage is Co-director of the Australian Network for Japanese Law. This network encourages research and unerwrites conferences exploring shcolarship in the area of Japanese law by both Japanese and Australian researchers. He has written extensively concerning consumer law in Japan including product liability and consumer lending laws.

Ref: I08P0080