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In this article, I evaluate the status of law and economics in Japan from 1990 to 2016. Through the literature review, we can see distinctive features that did not exist in 1990: the establishment of the Japan Law and Economics Association, change in methodologies, increase in empirical research, expansion of research fields, and influencing policies and statutes in the real world. I then conduct case studies about how law and economics research in Japan offers policy recommendations. I present two examples: repeal of protection of short-term leases and establishment of fixed-term building leases. Finally, I explore the outlook of the next stage of law and economics in Japan. More emphasis on empirical research and more English publications on law and economics in Japan are important to move to the next stage.
Corporate law shapes the fundamental business environment and affects various stakeholders. It is possible to determine the behaviour of various stakeholders by examining the politics of the reform process of corporate law. In order to understand the process, this paper uses the notice-and-comment procedure (public-comment procedure). Under this procedure, people submit comments to the Ministry of Justice; some of the comments are reflected in the final Bill, while others are not. The paper performs a quantitative analysis of a hand-collected dataset from two recent public-comment procedures on corporate law reform. The results showed that the bureaucrats are rigid and not willing to take public comments seriously. However, on some technical issues, legal academics, and legal professionals influence the behaviour of the bureaucrats. In addition, the bureaucrats employed these comments to honour the technical views of professionals. In other cases, corporate managers significantly influence the reform process.
Providing a survey of empirical law and economics scholarship in China, this paper shows the binary categories of quantitative versus qualitative studies are inadequate. Instead, two paths for future research in empirical law and economics in China are identified, namely studies based upon individual cases and studies that apply social scientific tools to analyze data, such as statistical and experimental tools. This paper also emphasizes the unique value of empirical law and economics for Chinese scholars in the increasingly globalized academic world.
The market of a successful financial centre must be efficient, orderly, and fair, which requires that investor protection rules be enforced effectively. While a substantial literature exists promoting privately driven enforcement of investor protection rules, there is a growing consensus that enforcement action by public bodies is likely to be more important for most markets than privately initiated litigation. Hong Kong exemplifies this point. In Hong Kong, public authorities carry almost the entire burden of enforcing corporate and securities laws. Yet Hong Kong functions at a high level of quality globally despite operating a market in which most companies are foreign-incorporated—often originating from jurisdictions with reputations for governance that are middling at best—and trading takes place in multiple currencies. To revisit the debate on the determinants of effective corporate and securities law enforcement, this paper evaluates the enforcement of investor protection laws in Hong Kong. The paper first examines the institutional context, presenting key corporate and securities regulation and explaining avenues for private and public actions. It looks at the powers and competencies of the relevant supervisory authorities, including the stock exchange, which has a quasi-public role in regulating the market. Then, using publicly available data supplemented through interviews with agency staff, the paper presents Hong Kong’s enforcement “inputs” (funding and staffing) and “outputs” (actions and sanctions) for the main public enforcers. We find evidence that the Hong Kong public enforcement model effectively disciplines even its dangerous environment of foreign companies, controlling shareholders, and complex, international groups, and might be able better to do so exactly because of a focus on public, rather than private, enforcement.
This paper points out the problems of the current law on directors’ duties that forces directors to ignore stakeholder interests, with the unintended consequences of misallocation of resources and the weaknesses of a traditional legal approach to law reform, and uses multiple stakeholder boards as an example to demonstrate how an economic efficiency approach to law reform, adopting economic principles, could avoid some of the unintended consequences of a legal approach to law reform and help design better rules that promote allocative efficiency for the benefit of society as a whole. It argues that international organizations should take the lead in promoting the use of stakeholder directors in the board of directors of multinational corporations that have a history of corporate abuses for corporate decisions that have an impact on all stakeholders.
As modern constitutions speak in the name of the people, they contribute to constituting the body politic by making potentially contentious claims about its members’ identity, rights, and duties. Focusing on the North and South Korean Constitutions, this article examines the claims about peoplehood articulated in both texts since their concurrent adoption in 1948. The analysis argues that these claims are irreducible to the North and the South competing over two ideologically antagonistic conceptions of the body politic—a rivalry supposedly embodied in and magnified by their constitutions’ use of differentiated terms to designate the people: inmin and kungmin. Instead, these categories should be seen in light of their synchronic commonalities in the North and South Korean Constitutions as well as diachronic transformations throughout the successive versions of each text, revealing that constituting the people has been less a matter of conflict between both Koreas than within each.
In 2014, the Indonesian president signed a new Village Law (no. 6/2014). This statute started a new phase in the ongoing history of village governance policy, moving the village from a position as an administrative unit in a top-down system towards one of an autonomous community. The present article analyses how distinct “policy communities” in Indonesia started a process that helped shape the 2014 Village Law in order to promote their long-term political agendas, how their involvement was facilitated by the particular features of Indonesia’s law-making process, and how they managed to get a Bill passed that went against considerable vested interest from government bureaucracies. However, they have been less successful in securing implementation of the new law, as this process is still dominated by the government bureaucracies that were “defeated” in the law-making process.