311. Yoshiro Miwa and J. Mark Ramseyer, Property Rights and Indigenous Tradition Among Early 20th Century Japanese Firms, 02/2001; subsequently published in Asian Law and Development: Universal Norms and Local Practices, Arthur Rosett and Lucie Cheng, eds., (RoutledgeCurzon, 2002).
Abstract: In several fields, modern academics trumpet the contingency of social science and the indeterminacy of institutional structures. The Japanese experience during the first half of the 20th century, however, instead tracks what much-derided chauvinists have claimed all along: modern legal institutions largely trump indigenous organizational frameworks, and modern rational-choice theory nicely predicts how people respond to such institutions. As orientalist as it may seem, such theory goes a long way toward explaining the real world in which we live.
Prepared for a conference on the rule of law in Asia, UCLA School of Law, January 2001.