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Institutionalist Method and Forensic Proof

Robert M. LaJeunesse

Chapter Chapter 4 in Law and Social Economics, 2015, pp 61-75 from Palgrave Macmillan

Abstract: Abstract With the sophistication of empirical methods, social science experts have expanded their influence in many forms of litigation. This chapter suggests that forensic economic analysis, when conducted properly, is more closely aligned with the holistic method of economic inquiry followed by institutionalists and other heterodox schools than the formalism of the neoclassical paradigm. It draws upon the methodological differences delineated by Charles Wilbur and Robert Harrison to show that a method of “pattern modeling, storytelling, and holism” provides a better description of reality and truth than relying on a formal model that is more prescriptive than descriptive.1 A deductive method that serves as a parable to achieve an abstract ideal is of little use in the legal setting. Probative forensic analysis requires a holistic melding of anecdotal evidence (storytelling) and empirical validation. As the US Supreme Court acknowledged in the context of employment discrimination (in Int’l. Brotherhood of Teamsters v. United States), stories give context to the statistics.2

Keywords: Human Capital; Institutional Economic; Expert Testimony; Human Capital Theory; Employment Discrimination (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pal:pfschp:978-1-137-44376-2_4

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DOI: 10.1057/9781137443762_4

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