The Practice of Forensic Economics: An Introduction
Valuation of economic losses related to specific events such as auto accidents, employment termination, breach of contract, to name a few, has developed into the applied field that has come to be known as forensic economics. Research indicates that most forensic economists (FEs) are solo practitioners, typically holding a full-time position at an academic institution. A successful FE must become the master of the “art” of applying and communicating knowledge as a paid expert in a legal context. This paper provides an overview of the practice of forensic economics by explaining to economists the scope and nature of the field. The paper covers the role of the economist within the adversarial process that is the law, and case strategies used by attorneys when they engage the services of an economist. Also discussed is the nature of a forensic economics assignment and the basic method by which economists approach the calculation of economic losses. The paper touches upon some of the measurements required to arrive at a reasonable estimate of economic damages, and emphasizes the dual art-and-science nature of applied economics. A discussion of the aspects of expert testimony is included with an emphasis on the need to be able to withstand strong cross-examination at both depositions and trials. A list of helpful references is provided.
Volume (Year): 36 (2010 Summer)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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