J. Mark Ramseyer & Eric Bennett Rasmusen, Managed Courts Under Unstable Political Environments: Recruitments and Resignations in the 1990s Japanese Judiciary (Harv. L. Sch. L. & Econ. Res. Paper Series, Discussion Paper No. 571, Dec. 13, 2006).
Abstract: Because of the risk of political interference, in countries with managed courts jurists who share ruling-party preferences disproportionately self-select into judicial careers. During political turmoil, such jurists will find judicial careers less attractive. Orthodox potential jurists will disproportionately shun the courts, and orthodox incumbent judges will disproportionately resign. Unorthodox potential jurists, on the other hand, might find the judiciary more attractive. Combining data on a random sample of 1,605 Japanese lawyers and all 2,502 judges hired between 1971 and 2001, we locate evidence consistent with these hypotheses: after the political crisis of 1993, the recruitment of young lawyers from elite universities lagged, while the number of early resignations increased.