Japanese Law: An Economic Approach

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In this introduction to Japanese law, J. Mark Ramseyer and Minoru Nakazato present an economic approach to the law, to challenge commonly held ideas about the law. Where many studies assume that Japanese law differs fundamentally from law in the United States, this work shows the essential similarity between the two. Arguing against the idea that law plays only a trivial role in Japan or is culturally determined, the authors demonstrate that standard economic models in fact explain fundamental facets of the way Japanese manipulate the law. This study covers almost all the basic areas of Japanese law: property, contracts, torts, corporate, civil procedure, criminal law, administrative procedure, and tax. Ramseyer and Nakazato draw liberally from case law, and after outlining legal doctrine, they use economic theory and empirical data to sketch the implications the law poses for human behaviour.