Journal Articles

Why the Japanese Taxpayer Always Loses

1999, Southern California Law Review

Eric Bennett Rasmusen, J. Mark Ramseyer


The tax office wins most cases in Japan. We think about why this might be. We find that although judges who rule in favor of the taxpayer do not suffer in their future careers, if the loser-- whether government or taxpayer--appeals and wins, the reversed judge's career does take a turn for the worse. This implies that the government cares more about accurate judging than about pro-government judging.


Rasmusen, Eric Bennett and J. Mark Ramseyer (1999), "Why the Japanese Taxpayer Always Loses," Southern California Law Review, Vol. 72, January/March, pp. 571-596. Translated and reprinted in Mitsuaki Usui, et al. (eds.) (2000), "Doshite Nihon no nozeisha wa katenai no ka" [Why Can't Japanese Taxpayers Win?], in Kohogaku no ho to seisaku:ge [Law and Policy in Public Law: Vol. 2], 147, Tokyo: Yuhikaku.

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