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date: 22 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The involvement of economists as expert witnesses in civil tort actions has grown rapidly in recent decades. This involvement most often involves economists being asked to estimate damages in litigation involving personal injury and wrongful death. Because there is considerable discretion in the methods and data sources used by forensic economists, as well as potential conflicts of interest, there is suspicion that some economists act unethically in presenting damages estimates that are biased toward the party (plaintiff or defense) hiring him or her. As a consequence, the National Association of Forensic Economics (NAFE) has formulated a statement of ethical principles and practice, one of the only codes of its type to have been passed by an association of economists in the United States. A central issue addressed in this chapter is whether such codes can have a favorable effect on the quality and impartiality of economic testimony in litigation.

Keywords: code of ethics, ethical practice, forensic economics

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