Spring 2017 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 21, issue 1)

Contents: This issue contains one article written by the staff at Economica. Selecting the Discount Rate (2017) Recently, Economica undertook a detailed re-evaluation of our recommendations concerning the discount rate. We argue that plaintiffs have available two alternative methods of investing their awards for future losses: the annuity approach, in which plaintiffs use their awards […]

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Summer 2016 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 20, issue 2)

Contents: This issue contains two articles. In the first, Christopher Bruce and Derek Aldridge examine the effect of a criminal record on earnings. In the second, Christopher Bruce and Kelly Rathje discuss the structure and content of expert cost of care reports. The Effect of Incarceration on Future Earnings In the first article, Dr. Bruce […]

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Spring 2016 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 20, issue 1)

Contents: This issue contains two articles written by Dr. Christopher Bruce. The first reviews the debate over the use of cross versus sole dependency approaches in the determination of loss of dependency on income; while the second article concerns the reliability of income data drawn from the 2011 census. Cross versus Sole Dependency in Fatal […]

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Spring 2015 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 19, issue 1)

Contents: The Cost of Household Services, Alberta 2014: A Survey In this issue of the Expert Witness, Christopher Bruce and Russette Pack summarise the results of a 2014 survey they conducted concerning the costs of providing household services in Alberta. They report that the costs of meal preparation, maintenance and repairs, snow removal and lawn […]

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Summer 2014 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 18, issue 1)

Contents: In fatal accident litigation, the plaintiffs are entitled to claim an amount that is sufficient to allow them to maintain the same standard of living as they had enjoyed when the deceased had been alive. In practice, this requires that the court calculate the percentage of the deceased’s after-tax income that would have benefited […]

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Winter 2013 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 17, issue 1)

Contents: In Assessment of Personal Injury Damages (5th Edition), we discussed the economic outcomes for aboriginal peoples in Canada. We outlined articles related to this subject, and provided data regarding income, educational attainment, participation, and unemployment rates for aboriginal people in Canada, based on the 2006 census. In this issue, we summarize new data derived […]

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Winter 2012 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 16, issue 1)

Contents: In every personal injury or fatal accident case in which the plaintiff’s loss continues into the future, it is necessary to calculate the rate of interest at which the damages will be invested. This interest rate is commonly called the discount rate. In this issue of the Expert Witness, we provide two articles concerning […]

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Summer 2009 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 14, issue 1)

Contents: Alternatives to the Minor Injury Regulation by Christopher Bruce In our first article, Alternatives to the Minor Injury Regulation, Chris Bruce identifies numerous alternative policies that could reduce automobile insurance premiums, not by reducing benefits, but by reducing the incidence and severity of automobile accidents. Testifying in Singapore by Derek Aldridge In the second […]

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Winter 2008 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 13, issue 2)

Contents: Premiums, Profits, and Costs of Business in Alberta’s Automobile Insurance Industry, 1996-2006 by Christopher Bruce and Jason Strauss In February 2008, Economica was retained by the Canadian Bar Association to prepare a series of reports on automobile insurance premiums in five provinces: Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. We have […]

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Spring 2008 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 13, issue 1)

Contents: The Discount Rate Revisited (Spring 2008) by Laura Weir, Derek Aldridge, Kelly Rathje, and Christopher Bruce This article reports on our latest survey of discount rates. We conclude that no changes to our existing discount rate assumptions are warranted, though a reduction in our long-term rate may be necessary in the future if the […]

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Autumn 2007 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 12, issue 2)

Contents: The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on the Educational Attainment and Adult Earnings of Canadian Women by Christopher Bruce and Daniel Gordon This article concerns sexual abuse cases and the difficult task of determining the impact that the harm has had on the plaintiff’s earning capacity. Christopher Bruce and his colleague from the University […]

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Spring 2007 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 12, issue 1)

Contents: Forecasting the long-term interest rate on Government of Canada bonds: “market-based” versus “conservative” investment by Christopher Bruce In the article Christopher Bruce examines a subtle issue relating to interest rates. He explains the difference between the interest rates realised by buying bonds and holding them to maturity, and selling and re-buying before maturity. These […]

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Summer 2006 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 11, issue 2)

Contents: The Cost of Household Services, Alberta, 2006: A Survey by Christopher Bruce and Amelia Lamb The article reports the results of a survey we conducted in late 2005 and early 2006. We obtained housecleaning, handyman, landscaping and snow removal, child care, and home care/meal preparation rates from a large sample of agencies and individuals […]

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Spring 2006 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 11, issue 1)

Contents: Estimating non-discriminatory lifetime earnings for young females by Christopher Bruce and Kelly Rathje This articles examines the sources of male/female earnings differentials that might arise from differences between the sexes in labour force participation rates, part-time hours, and retirement ages. It concludes that, even in the absence of labour market discrimination, women may earn […]

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Summer 2005 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 10, issue 2)

Contents: The Discount Rate Revisited by Christopher Bruce, Derek Aldridge, Kelly Rathje, and Hugh Finnigan In this article we review the recent evidence – both statistical and theoretical – concerning the discount rate (or real rate of interest). We review a number of different interest rates for each quarter since 1995 and find that every […]

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Spring 2005 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 10, issue 1)

Contents: The Impact of Disability on Earnings: Reliable Data by Christopher Bruce From his analysis in his previous article, Dr. Bruce concluded that, to be reliable, evidence must be based on data sets that meet two criteria: First, the number of observations must be large enough that one can be certain that a representative sample […]

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Winter 2004/05 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 9, issue 4)

Contents: The Reliability of Statistical Evidence Concerning the Impact of Disability by Christopher Bruce In the article Christopher Bruce provides a caution concerning the acceptance of statistical evidence about disability. Dr. Bruce argues that the courts and opposing counsel do not subject certain types of medical opinion to sufficiently strict statistical standards. Specifically, he shows […]

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Autumn 2004 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 9, issue 3)

Contents: Using family background to Predict Educational Attainment in Canada by Carmen Anderson with Christopher Bruce When a minor has suffered a serious injury, it is necessary to predict what the income level of the plaintiff would have been in the absence of that injury. In most cases, this is done by projecting an education […]

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Summer 2004 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 9, issue 2)

Contents: The Impact of the “Net Income” Provisions of the Insurance Amendment Act, 2003 by Christopher Bruce The article examines the implications of the changes to section 626.1 of the Insurance Act that were introduced in The Insurance Amendment Act, 2003. Dr. Bruce argues that these changes will: (i) require that income taxes be calculated […]

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Spring 2004 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 9, issue 1)

Contents: Forecasting the Rate of Growth of Real Wages (Productivity) by Christopher Bruce Christopher Bruce summarises the most recent theoretical and empirical evidence concerning one of the most controversial, and poorly-understood, components of the calculation of future earnings – the so-called “productivity factor.” He notes that, although the observed rate of increase in earnings is […]

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Winter 2003 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 8, issue 4)

Contents: Why have automobile insurance premiums been rising? by Christopher Bruce This article attempts to identify the causes of the dramatic increases in automobile insurance premiums that have been reported over the last two years. Policies to deal with rising premiums by Christopher Bruce This article investigates a number of government policies that have been […]

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Autumn 2003 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 8, issue 3)

Contents: How are Automobile Insurance Premiums Determined? by Christopher Bruce In this article Christopher Bruce Christopher Bruce provides a brief introduction to the process by which automobile insurance premiums are determined. He discusses actuarial rating, rating classes, and experience rating. Economica’s Privacy Policy by Christopher Bruce This article provides a brief description of Economica’s privacy […]

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Winter 2002/03 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 7, issue 3)

Contents: Under-reporting of Income by the Self-Employed by Scott Beesley In this article Scott Beesley discusses a technique that can be used to estimate the extent to which a self-employed worker has under-reported his net business income. Quantifying Soft Tissue Injury in Neck Injured Patients by Gordon McMorland This article was prepared by Dr. Gordon […]

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Summer/Autumn 2002 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 7, issue 2)

Contents: The Connection between Labour Productivity and Wages by Christopher Bruce In this article Christopher Bruce examines the theory and evidence behind the assertion that wage growth among workers in a specific industry can be linked to the productivity growth of those workers. He finds that there are sound theoretical reasons for predicting that there […]

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Spring 2002 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 7, issue 1)

Contents: Male Versus Female Earnings – Is the Gender Wage Gap Converging? by Kelly Rathje In this article Kelly Rathje examines current and projected trends in educational attainment and labour force participation – two factors which influence earnings. Then, she present the results of some recent research regarding the projected gender wage gap. Next, she […]

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Winter 2001/02 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 6, issue 4)

Contents: Selecting the Discount Rate – An Update by Christopher Bruce, Derek Aldridge, Scott Beesley, and Kelly Rathje In this article the consultants at Economica have combined to review the most recent information concerning the “discount rate;” that is, the rate of interest at which plaintiffs are assumed to invest their award. Destruction of evidence […]

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Autumn 2001 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 6, issue 3)

Contents: The Deduction for “Expenses Related to Earning Income” in Rewcastle by Christopher Bruce and Derek Aldridge In this article Christopher Bruce and Derek Aldridge discuss the court’s decision in the recent case of Rewcastle v. Sieben. The case concerned an estate claim brought under the Survival of Actions Act. In his decision, Justice Hutchinson […]

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Summer 2001 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 6, issue 2)

Contents: The Deduction of Accelerated Inheritance by Christopher Bruce In this article Chris Bruce discusses a requirement established by the Court of Appeal in its October 17, 2000 ruling in Brooks v. Stefura. This was that “accelerated inheritances” should be deducted from each plaintiff’s dependency award. The Court did not, however, state clearly what it […]

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Spring 2001 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 6, issue 1)

Contents: Estate Claims Following the Appeal Court Decisions in Duncan and Brooks by Derek Aldridge In this article Derek Aldridge, investigates a number of issues concerning the valuation of estate claims under the Survival of Actions Act. These issues arise from two recent decisions of the Court of Appeal, in Duncan v. Baddeley and Brooks […]

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Winter 2000 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 5, issue 4)

Contents: Incorporating the Effect of Reduced Life Expectancy into Awards for Future Costs of Care by David Strauss, Robert Shavelle, Christopher Pflaum, & Christopher Bruce In this article David Strauss, Robert Shavelle, Christopher Pflaum, and Christopher Bruce argue that the method used by most economists and actuaries for calculating life expectancy among the seriously disabled […]

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Autumn 2000 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 5, issue 3)

Contents: Selecting the Discount Rate by Christopher Bruce In this article we begin by providing clear definitions of a number of fundamental concepts. These include: real interest rate; nominal interest rate; discount rate; real return bonds; and core rate of inflation. We then summarise the recent statistical data for various measures of inflation and interest […]

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Spring 2000 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 5, issue 1)

Contents: The Impact of Disability on Earnings: Results of the Health and Activity Limitation Survey by Christopher Bruce, Derek Aldridge, & Kris Aksomitis This article presents some information from Statistics Canada’s Health and Activity Limitation Survey (HALS). Although HALS was one of the most comprehensive surveys ever conducted on the effects of disability, Statistics Canada […]

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Winter 1999 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 4, issue 4)

Contents: Fatal Accident Dependency Calculations by Derek Aldridge In this article Derek Aldridge examines the difference between using the sole- and cross-dependency approaches when estimating the loss of income dependency following a fatal accident. Chris Bruce wrote about this issue three years ago in the Expert Witness (Volume 1, Number 4). Derek’s article emphasises the […]

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Autumn 1999 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 4, issue 3)

Contents: The Current Status of Survival of Actions Act Claims by Christopher Bruce In this article Christopher Bruce discusses two trial court decisions concerning the method by which claims for loss of earnings are to be calculated under the Survival of Actions Act. He argues that, although these two decisions clarify many of the outstanding […]

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Summer 1999 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 4, issue 2)

Contents: Advice for Experts Facing Cross-Examination by Steve Babitsky and James Mangraviti, Jr. This article was written by Steve Babitsky and James Mangraviti, Jr. of SEAK Inc., a consulting firm in Massachusetts. Their article contains some excellent advice for experts who are testifying in court. The Role of Expert Evidence by Christopher Bruce In this […]

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Spring 1999 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 4, issue 1)

Contents: Issues Arising in the Calculation of Damages under the Survival of Actions Act (Part 2) by Scott Beesley This is a continuation of a previous article by Scott Beesley concerning some issues that arise in assessing claims under the Survival of Actions Act. He now discusses the methodology of the calculation, the connection between […]

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Winter 1998 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 3, issue 4)

Contents: Issues Arising in the Calculation of Damages Under the Survival of Actions Act (Part 1) by Scott Beesley In this article Scott Beesley discusses the issues that arise in the calculation of damages under the Survival of Actions Act. Mr. Beesley addresses the possible size of the “necessities” deduction. Duty of Care by Christopher […]

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Summer 1998 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 3, issue 2)

Contents: The Effect of Alcoholism on Earning Capacity by Nicole MacPherson In this article Nicole MacPherson investigates the effect of alcoholism on earning capacity. She has found that alcoholism has both direct and indirect effects on earnings. Ms. MacPherson brings to our attention both the obvious and overlooked effects of alcoholism. Applying Economic Analysis to […]

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Spring 1998 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 3, issue 1)

Contents: The Role of the Expert Witness in Developing “New” Law by Christopher Bruce In this article Christopher Bruce explores the role of the expert witness. He delineates both the advantages and disadvantages to the legal system when an expert adopts a “constructive” rather than a “passive” approach. While recognising the pitfalls with either approach, […]

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Winter 1997 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 2, issue 4)

Contents: Determination of the Hourly Cost of Household Services by Therese Brown and Audrey Hallson Therese Brown and Audrey Hallson, in the fourth of a five-part series of articles, discuss the estimation of an appropriate hourly rate in cases which involve the loss of household services. This discussion details rates gleaned from a 1997 survey […]

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Summer 1997 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 2, issue 2)

Contents: Implications of Duncan v. Baddeley by Christopher Bruce This article deals with the impact of the recent Alberta Appeal Court decision in Duncan v. Baddeley. Christopher Bruce discusses the implications of this decision for: fatal accident actions in which there are no dependants; the selection between the Fatal Accidents Act and the Survival of […]

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Spring 1997 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 2, issue 1)

Contents: Predicting the Adult Earning Capacity of Minors by Faizal Sharma In this article Faizal Sharma sheds light upon the complex issue of predicting the potential income stream of a minor who has been injured. He explains that recent studies show a stronger correlation between parents’ income and that of their children than had previously […]

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Winter 1996 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 1, issue 4)

Contents: Calculation of the Dependency Rate in Fatal Accident Actions by Christopher Bruce In this article Christopher Bruce deals with the topical issue of alternative approaches to the calculation of the dependency rate. He argues here that determination of whether a sole dependency method, a revised dependency method, or a revised cross dependency method is […]

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Autumn 1996 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 1, issue 3)

Contents: Damage Calculations in Fatal Accident Actions After Galand by Christopher Bruce This article is Christopher Bruce’s second of two reports on the ramifications of the Alberta Court of Appeal decision in Galand Estate v. Stewart. The article in this issue considers the implications of Galand for the calculation of damages. Employment of Persons With […]

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Summer 1996 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 1, issue 2)

Contents: Fatal Accident Cases After Galand by Christopher Bruce In this article Christopher Bruce discusses the theoretical arguments raised by Mr. Justice Coté’s decision that an estate is able to rely on the Survival of Actions Act to sue for a deceased’s loss of earning capacity. Adjusting Claims for Hours Devoted to Household Chores by […]

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Spring 1996 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 1, issue 1)

Contents: Shortened Life Expectency: The “Lost Years” Calculation by Scott Beesley In this article Scott Beesley analyses the impact which a reduced life expectancy has on the plaintiff’s claim for loss of future earnings – the “lost years deduction.” In a future issue, this discussion will be extended to the calculation of losses in fatal […]

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