The goal of this paper is to detect the degree to which court decisions control the stringency of employment protection and to investigate how such judicial discretion affects labor market performance. However, identification difficulty arises because court decisions are volatile against economic and social conditions. This paper overcomes the endogeneity problem by exploiting the triennial judge transfer system in Japan, or the exogenous allocation of judges to prefectures. A key finding is that the prefecture employment rate is reduced by approximately 1.4% if a prefecture receives more pro-worker judgments than pro-employer ones in a given year.
Employment Protection Wrongful-Discharge Law Weak Instrumental Variables
J65 K31 K41
The 11th ISER-Moriguchi Prize (2009) Awarded Paper.