Why Can’t I Keep My Surname? An Analysis of the Fairness and Welfare of the Japanese Legal System

Omura, Makiko (2016). 'Why Can’t I Keep My Surname? An Analysis of the Fairness and Welfare of the Japanese Legal System' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Tokyo 2016.

abstract This study examines the welfare and fairness of Japan’s current versus revised family law, which will enable husbands and wives to retain their premarital surnames. We compare welfare in these two legal states, with a married couple’s welfare dependent on marriage–surname choice. The external preferences of antirevisionists are reviewed by the fairness criteria of impersonality or extended sympathy. Utilizing web-based survey data, we conduct nonparametric rank analysis and parametric analysis of willingness to pay for surname retention and legal support, and structural equation analysis via a multiple indicators multiple causes model. We show that welfare can be increased by the revised law, and that external disutility of the legal revision is invalid on fairness grounds.

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