Sex Bias in the Japanese Courts?

13 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2007

Date Written: October, 2007


Wolff (2007) argues that female judges in Japan experience statistically significant pay discrimination. To document his assertion, he compares the mean values for men and women among judges hired in the 1960s. I use multivariate regressions to test his claim with new data on all judges hired between 1978 and 1981. I find (a) that women brought qualifications comparable to the men, (b) that women received initial postings as attractive as the men, (c) that women accepted inter-city transfers in their careers at the same rates as the men, and (d) that women were not more likely to quit their jobs than the men. Although I find (i) that women were underrepresented among those judges who specialized in administrative rather than judicial work, I also find (ii) that women did not climb the pay scale significantly more slowly than the men. Wolff's pay discrimination results are apparently an artifact of an earlier era.

JEL Classification: J71, K40

Suggested Citation

Ramseyer, J. Mark, Sex Bias in the Japanese Courts? (October, 2007). Harvard Law and Economics Discussion Paper No. 599, Available at SSRN: or

J. Mark Ramseyer (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

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