Entry Restrictions and Japanese Lawyers' Incomes in International Legal Practice

by Hong W. Tan, Arthur J. Alexander

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This report investigates a potential economic motive for the Japanese Federation of Bar Associations restriction on entry of foreign lawyers into the profession, namely the preservation of high incomes for its members. It provides an overview of the institutional setting and changes over time in the supply and demand for legal services in Japan; describes the data and presents summary estimates for the relative incomes of attorneys in domestic and international practice; and presents tobit estimates of pooled cross-section time-series models of incomes. The authors found evidence that entry barriers to the Japanese legal profession have given rise to very high attorney incomes relative to other skilled occupations, especially in the 1960s and early 1970s.

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