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The Law and Economics of the Economic Expert Witness

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  • Richard A. Posner
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    Abstract

    I will consider the law and economics of the use of economic expert witnesses. After introducing the law governing the use of expert witnesses (including economists), I analyze and respond to several concerns regarding the use of expert witnesses. The first is that expert witnesses paid by the respective parties are bound to be partisans ("hired guns") rather than being disinterested, and hence presumptively truthful, or at least honest, witnesses. A second concern is about intelligibility once the expert's evidence has been admitted. A third concern about expert testimony is that opposing experts often cancel each other out. Supposing that the use of economists' testifying as expert witnesses is here to stay, we should consider how the system might be improved. My major proposal is the greater use of court-appointed experts selected on the arbitration model, but I have two additional proposals.

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.13.2.91
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

    Volume (Year): 13 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
    Pages: 91-99

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:13:y:1999:i:2:p:91-99

    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.13.2.91
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    1. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
    2. Salop, Steven C, 1987. "Evaluating Uncertain Evidence with Sir Thomas Bayes: A Note for Teachers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 155-59, Summer.
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    Cited by:
    1. Oliver Budzinski, 2008. "A Note on Competing Merger Simulation Models in Antitrust Cases: Can the Best Be Identified?," MAGKS Papers on Economics, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung) 200803, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    2. Bruno S. Frey, . "Was bewirkt die Volkswirtschaftslehre?," IEW - Working Papers 024, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    3. Robert Cooter & Winand Emons, 2003. "Truth-Revealing Mechanisms for Courts," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 159(2), pages 259-, June.
    4. Winand Emons, 2001. "Perjury versus Truth-Revelation: Quantity or Quality of Testimony," Diskussionsschriften, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft dp0103, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    5. Oliver Budzinski & Isabel Ruhmer, 2008. "Merger Simulation in Competition Policy: A Survey," MAGKS Papers on Economics, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung) 200807, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    6. Michael R. Baye & Joshua D. Wright, 2008. "Is Antitrust Too Complicated for Generalist Judges? The Impact of Economic Complexity and Judicial Training on Appeals," Working Papers, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy 2008-19, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    7. Yee, Kenton K., 2008. "Dueling experts and imperfect verification," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 246-255, December.
    8. Cooter, Robert D. & Emons, Winand, 2000. "Truth-Bonding and Other Truth-Revealing Mechanisms for Courts," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics qt35j9s08h, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    9. Bruno Frey, 2006. "How Influential is Economics?," De Economist, Springer, Springer, vol. 154(2), pages 295-311, June.
    10. Cooter, Robert D. & Emons, Winand, 2001. "Truth-Bonding and Other Truth-Revealing Mechanisms for Courts [technical version]," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics qt3587v9sv, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    11. Oliver Budzinski, 2009. "Modern Industrial Economics and Competition Policy: Open Problems and Possible Limits," Working Papers, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Environmental and Business Economics 93/09, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Environmental and Business Economics.

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