This is a seminar course focusing on a comparative analysis of business systems in Japan and the United States. We will discuss the basic question: how does law matter to business practice?
To answer this question, we need to take into consideration two complementarities. First, the legal system in a given country consists of a variety of legal subject areas, including corporate law, securities regulation, labor law, bankruptcy law, and tax law, among others. These areas of law do not operate in isolation but rather in complement to affect the business practices in a country. Second, the law operates in conjunction with economic markets and social norms.
We will consider the firm as a forum for incentive bargaining among four major participants: management, employees, creditors, and shareholders. How do the complementary effects of various laws, markets and norms affect the incentives of each participant? How has this affected the accepted business practices in a country, and in turn, the broader business system?
Students will be exposed to classical readings in business law theory, as well as more recent scholarship that applies those classical theories to case studies of modern US and Japanese firms. Through the readings and participation in class discussions, students will learn to think critically about the dynamic interplay of legal systems, economic markets, and social norms and their combined effects on business systems.
|Course Areas of Practice|
Research and/or analytical paper(s), 10-15 pages
Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law