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Economic Organizations and Corporate Governance in Japan$
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Curtis J. Milhaupt and Mark D. West

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199272112

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199272115.001.0001

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Lawyers and Bureaucrats

Lawyers and Bureaucrats

(p.207) 8 Lawyers and Bureaucrats
Economic Organizations and Corporate Governance in Japan

Curtis J. Milhaupt (Contributor Webpage)

Mark D. West (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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

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