Lawyers and Bureaucrats

Curtis J. Milhaupt and Mark D. West

in Economic Organizations and Corporate Governance in Japan

Published in print June 2004 | ISBN: 9780199272112
Published online August 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601316 | DOI:
Lawyers and Bureaucrats

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Chapters 7 and 8 show how institutional changes can lead to positive results. In Chapter 8, the authors examine the allocation of talent in Japan between the bureaucracy and the legal profession. This chapter both reflects and highlights the general transformation seen to be taking place in Japan, away from informal rules and toward more formal, law‐based institutions. If Japan is moving toward a firmer ‘rule of law’ (putting aside the very thorny question of precisely what that means), one likely consequence is a greater role for lawyers in the economy, and a diminished role for bureaucrats operating by fiat. Examining career choices of elites in Japanese society thus provides a novel way of testing whether the institutional changes observed in the rest of the book are having a real impact on society. Milhaupt and West present dramatic evidence that indeed they are: the cream of the crop in Japan is forsaking the bureaucracy for law.

Keywords: bureaucracy; career choices; institutional changes; Japan; legal profession; rule of law; talent

Chapter.  15208 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Financial Markets

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