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Lowering the Bar to Raise the Bar: Licensing Difficulty and Attorney Quality in Japan

John Ramseyer and Eric Rasmusen ()

No 2013-12, Working Papers from Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy

Abstract: Under certain circumstance, a relaxation in occupational licensing standards can increase the quality of those who enter the industry. The effect turns on the opportunity costs of preparing for the licensing examination: making the test easier can increase the quality of those passing if it lowers the opportunity costs enough to increase the number of those willing to go to the trouble of taking the test. We explore the theoretical circumstances under which this can occur and the actual effect of the relaxation of the difficulty of the bar exam in Japan from 1992 to 2011.

JEL-codes: K00 K10 K23 K33 L0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-07
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