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


  • 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 is flawed. They argue that this method leads to the systematic overestimation of costs of future care. They show, for example, that the costs of care for plaintiffs with cerebral palsy are commonly overestimated by 10 to 15 percent. Strauss and Shavelle are able to provide life expectancy data that correct for this error.
  • Evaluation of Harm to a Class of Individuals
    • by Kelly Rathje
    • In this article Kelly Rathje explains how the estimates of damages can be improved if the plaintiff is one of a class of individuals who have been affected by the same harm. In such cases, a statistical technique known as econometrics can be employed to compare the earnings capacity of the victims of the harm with the earnings capacity of a randomly selected sample of individuals who have not been so-harmed. This technique can be used, for example, to determine the impact of sexual abuse on a students at an orphanage or residential school.
  • What is Econometrics?
    • by Kelly Rathje and Christopher Bruce
    • In this article Chris Bruce and Kelly Rathje explain the fundamental principles of “econometrics”.