Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Introduction of the new bar examination and the changing effect of influential professors on its outcomes: The case of Japan 2006-2009

Yamamura, Eiji (2010): Introduction of the new bar examination and the changing effect of influential professors on its outcomes: The case of Japan 2006-2009.

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Abstract

Japan’s new bar examination has been administered since 2006. This paper attempts to analyze how professors selected as members of the committee (The Justice Ministry's committee of the new national bar examination) influence the results of the examination. I use a panel data set to control for unobservable characteristics of universities when the numbers of successful candidate are examined. The major findings are: (1) From 2006 to 2007, number of professors on the committee affected the number of successful candidates. Furthermore, committee members specializing in compulsory common subjects had a significant effect but those specializing in a selective subject had no effect. (2) From 2008 to 2009, neither type of committee member influenced the number of successful candidates. The unexpected outcomes in 2006 and 2007 are considered to be the result of shortcomings in the new bar examination. This is in line with concept that high-powered incentive schemes are likely to induce behavior distortions (Jacob and Levitt, 2003). In 2008 and 2009, it is thought that social pressure against such unexpected behavior deterred such unfair behavior.

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