When are Judges and Bureaucrats Left Independent? Theory and History from Imperial Japan, Postwar Japan, and the United States

U. of Tokyo CIRJE Working Paper No. F-126

47 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2002

See all articles by Eric Bennett Rasmusen

Eric Bennett Rasmusen

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Economics & Public Policy

J. Mark Ramseyer

Harvard Law School

Date Written: August 2001

Abstract

Various theories, notably those of McCubbins & Schwartz and Landes & Posner, say why judicial independence might be desired by voters and politicians. Why, however, are judges independent in some elected regimes but not others? We develop an "alternating-parties" explanation based on the theory of repeated games and use it to explain the differences between Japan in the 1920's, Japan 1950-1990, and federal judges in the United States. We also discuss why other elite bureaucrats are treated differently from judges.

Keywords: judges, bureaucrats, judicial independence, separation of powers, bundling

JEL Classification: H11, K4, L32, C72

Suggested Citation

Rasmusen, Eric Bennett and Ramseyer, J. Mark, When are Judges and Bureaucrats Left Independent? Theory and History from Imperial Japan, Postwar Japan, and the United States (August 2001). U. of Tokyo CIRJE Working Paper No. F-126. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=305900 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.305900

Eric Bennett Rasmusen (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Economics & Public Policy ( email )

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J. Mark Ramseyer

Harvard Law School ( email )

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