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The Law and Economics of the Economic Expert Witness

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  • Richard A. Posner

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard A. Posner, 1999. "The Law and Economics of the Economic Expert Witness," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 91-99, Spring.
  • 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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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.13.2.91
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Salop, Steven C, 1987. "Evaluating Uncertain Evidence with Sir Thomas Bayes: A Note for Teachers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 155-159, Summer.
    2. James J. Heckman, 1998. "Detecting Discrimination," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 101-116, Spring.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Oliver Budzinski, 2009. "Modern Industrial Economics and Competition Policy: Open Problems and Possible Limits," Working Papers 93/09, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics.
    2. Robert Cooter & Winand Emons, 2004. "Truth-Bonding and Other Truth-Revealing Mechanisms for Courts," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 307-327, May.
    3. Oliver Budzinski & Isabel Ruhmer, 2010. "Merger Simulation In Competition Policy: A Survey," Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 277-319.
    4. Michael R. Baye & Joshua D. Wright, 2011. "Is Antitrust Too Complicated for Generalist Judges? The Impact of Economic Complexity and Judicial Training on Appeals," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 1-24.
    5. Yves Oytana & Nathalie Chappe, 2016. "Expert opinion in a tort litigation game," EconomiX Working Papers 2016-23, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    6. Winand Emons, 2005. "Perjury versus Truth Revelation: Quantity or Quality of Testimony," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 161(3), pages 392-392, September.
    7. repec:oup:jcomle:v:4:y:2008:i:1:p:1-30. is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Robert Cooter & Winand Emons, 2003. "Truth-Revealing Mechanisms for Courts," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 159(2), pages 259-259, June.
    9. Yee, Kenton K., 2008. "Dueling experts and imperfect verification," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 246-255, December.
    10. Bruno S. Frey, 2000. "Was Bewirkt die Volkswirtschaftslehre?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(1), pages 5-33, February.
    11. Oliver Budzinski, 2008. "A Note on Competing Merger Simulation Models in Antitrust Cases: Can the Best Be Identified?," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200803, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    12. Bruno Frey, 2006. "How Influential is Economics?," De Economist, Springer, vol. 154(2), pages 295-311, June.
    13. Yves Oytana & Nathalie Chappe, 2016. "Expert opinion in a tort litigation game," Working Papers 2016-13, CRESE.
    14. 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 qt3587v9sv, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    15. Yehonatan Givati, 2016. "A Theory of Whistleblower Rewards," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(1), pages 43-72.
    16. Yves Oytana & Nathalie Chappe, 2016. "Expert opinion in a tort litigation game," Working Papers hal-01413908, HAL.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General

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