Economists Are Often Skilled Experts – But Not Mind Readers

National Law Journal

16 Jul 2020

David Cross and Eric Olson authored an article for the National Law Journal discussing their opinion that economists brought in as experts in trial should limit their testimony to only what they actually know based on scientific studies, and that the interpretation of the case should be left to lawyers and juries.

“In a 1983 article Nobel Prize-winning economist George Stigler acknowledged that economists have ‘no special skill in reading documents and relating them to actual behavior,’” the authors wrote. “Yet, since then, some economists have done exactly that repeatedly in antitrust litigation. This disincentivizes cooperation between competitors that can serve consumers because their collaboration could be misconstrued as unlawful collusion, presenting massive civil exposure and even criminal penalties. This is especially problematic today when competitor collaborations may be needed ‘to protect Americans’ health and safety’ during a global pandemic, as both the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission recently recognized.”

Read the full article.



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