Toward a Theory of Jurisdictional Competition: The Case of the Japanese Ftc

30 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2004

See all articles by Yoshiro Miwa

Yoshiro Miwa

Osaka Gakuin University

J. Mark Ramseyer

Harvard Law School

Date Written: July 2004


The Japanese antitrust agency (the J-FTC) holds a jurisdictional monopoly over most issues. Because overlapping jurisdictions would enable politicians to gauge relative bureaucratic performance, this monopoly prevents politicians from monitoring the agency on most issues. In response, J-FTC bureaucrats have chosen not to enforce those statutory provisions like criminal penalties that firms might contest. Consequently, firms face virtually no criminal sanctions for violating the antitrust statute. Most Japanese markets are still competitive - but primarily because they are large, fluid, and easy to enter. The J-FTC enforces the law only in areas where politicians can monitor its performance, and politicians have the information they need to monitor only on issues about which they care deeply. All else equal, monopolist agencies will regulate less actively than competitive agencies. Yet politicians do not win elections by creating agencies they cannot control, and even monopolist agencies will regulate actively when politicians can gauge their performance. In equilibrium, therefore, politicians will grant agencies a jurisdictional monopoly over electorally important issues only when they have access through other sources to information by which to monitor their bureaucrats.

JEL Classification: D42, K23, L12, L41, L42, L43, L51

Suggested Citation

Miwa, Yoshiro and Ramseyer, J. Mark, Toward a Theory of Jurisdictional Competition: The Case of the Japanese Ftc (July 2004). Available at SSRN: or

Yoshiro Miwa

Osaka Gakuin University ( email )

2-36-1 Kishibe-Minami
Suita, Osaka 5645811

J. Mark Ramseyer (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-4878 (Phone)
617-496-6118 (Fax)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics