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Forensic Economics


  • Eric Zitzewitz


A new meta-field of "forensic economics" has begun to emerge, uncovering evidence of hidden behavior in a variety of domains. Examples include teachers cheating on exams, road builders skimping on materials, violations of U.N. sanctions, unnecessary heart surgeries, and racial biases in employment decisions, traffic stops, auto retailing, and even sports judging. In each case, part of the contribution of economic analysis is in uncovering evidence of wrongdoing. Although research questions differ, forensic economic work shares commonalities in approaches and limitations. This article seeks to draw out the common threads, with the hope of stimulating further research across fields. (JEL K13)

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Zitzewitz, 2012. "Forensic Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(3), pages 731-769, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:50:y:2012:i:3:p:731-69 Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.50.3.731

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Forensic Economics
      by rené böheim in Econ Tidbits on 2012-09-18 00:01:00


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Mujcic, Redzo & Frijters, Paul, 2013. "Still Not Allowed on the Bus: It Matters If You're Black or White!," IZA Discussion Papers 7300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Thorben C. Kundt & Florian Misch & Birger Nerré, 2017. "Re-assessing the merits of measuring tax evasion through business surveys: an application of the crosswise model," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 24(1), pages 112-133, February.
    3. Ulrich Matter & Michaela Slotwinski, 2016. "Precise Control over Legislative Vote Outcomes: A Forensic Approach to Political Economics," CESifo Working Paper Series 6007, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Jeffrey Flory & Andreas Leibbrandt & John List, 2017. "Using Behavioral Economics to Curb Workplace Misbehaviors: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00617, The Field Experiments Website.
    5. Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato & Xiao Yu Wang & Shuang Zhang, 2016. "The Limits of Meritocracy: Screening Bureaucrats Under Imperfect Verifiability," NBER Working Papers 21963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Chen, Ting & Kung, J.K.-S., 2016. "Do land revenue windfalls create a political resource curse? Evidence from China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 86-106.
    7. Jan Palguta, 2014. "Concealed Ownership of Contractors, Manipulation of Tenders and the Allocation of Public Procurement Contracts," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp501, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    8. repec:spr:homoec:v:34:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s41412-017-0037-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:ecolet:v:155:y:2017:i:c:p:62-66 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Alasdair Brown & Fuyu Yang, 2014. "Have Betting Exchanges Corrupted Horse Racing?," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 066, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    11. Andreoli-Versbach, Patrick & Franck, Jens-Uwe, 2015. "Endogenous price commitment, sticky and leadership pricing: Evidence from the Italian petrol market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 32-48.
    12. Collier,Paul & Kirchberger,Martina & Söderbom,Måns, 2015. "The cost of road infrastructure in low and middle income countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7408, The World Bank.
    13. Kotchen, Matthew J. & Potoski, Matthew, 2014. "Conflicts of interest distort public evaluations: Evidence from NCAA football coaches," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 51-63.
    14. Topher L. McDougal & Athena Kolbe & Robert Muggah & Nicholas Marsh, 2014. "Ammunition Leakage From The Military To Civilian Markets: Market Price Evidence From Haiti, 2004 - 2012," SADO - Working Papers 192, Small Arms Data Observatory.
    15. repec:eee:labeco:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:189-199 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Marco Le Moglie & Giuseppe Sorrenti, 2017. ""Mafia Inc.": when godfathers become entrepreneurs," ECON - Working Papers 251, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics


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