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dc.contributor.advisorTodd, Jeff
dc.contributor.authorFaulkner, Hannah ( )
dc.date.accessioned2020-06-16T18:27:38Z
dc.date.available2020-06-16T18:27:38Z
dc.date.issued2019-12
dc.identifier.citationFaulkner, H. (2019). Realistic assumptions, economic models, and the admissibility of expert testimony in the class action lawsuit Dover v. British Airways (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.
dc.identifier.urihttps://digital.library.txstate.edu/handle/10877/11829
dc.descriptionPresented to the Honors Committee of Texas State University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for Graduation in the University Honors Program, December 2019.
dc.description.abstract

The “Assumptions Controversy” is a historical debate among economics methodologists regarding whether simplifying assumptions must be realistic for a model to be valid. Nobel Prize-winning economists have occupied both extremes: Milton Friedman claimed that predictive accuracy is the only relevant criterion for a model’s validity, while realists such as Paul Samuelson view realistic assumptions as intrinsically valuable and desirable.

This debate also has implications in the context of litigation. Economics expert testimony is key to establish causation and estimate damages in cases involving antitrust violations, employment discrimination, toxic torts, and more. Experts use idealizations and omissions to transform complex data into a simplified model whose conclusions can be understood by non-experts. These simplifying assumptions are often targeted by opponents as “unrealistic,” prompting motions to exclude the testimony. Judges act as “gatekeepers,” deciding whether the model-based testimony is reliable enough to be admitted to the jury, who weighs the credibility of evidence. Legal precedent and scholarship have failed to provide clear admissibility guidelines, resulting in inconsistent decisions that define multimillion-dollar cases.

Recent developments in the assumptions debate provide a dynamic approach by classifying different types of assumptions and realisticness. A synthesis of these typologies potentially offers courts a pragmatic solution to admissibility rulings that is based in theory from economics methodologists. This research applies the theoretical framework to Judge Dearie’s admissibility decision in the class action lawsuit Dover v. British Airways, where experts testified regarding whether the airline’s fuel surcharges were correlated with the market price of jet fuel.

en_US
dc.formatText
dc.format.extent68 pages
dc.format.medium1 file (.pdf)
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.subjectEconomicsen_US
dc.subjectModelsen_US
dc.subjectEvidenceen_US
dc.subjectLitigationen_US
dc.subjectExpert testimonyen_US
dc.subjectAdmissibilityen_US
dc.titleRealistic Assumptions, Economic Models, and the Admissibility of Expert Testimony in the Class Action Lawsuit Dover v. British Airwaysen_US
txstate.documenttypeThesis
dc.contributor.committeeMemberGuzelian, Christopher P.
thesis.degree.departmentHonors College
thesis.degree.disciplineFinance and Economics
thesis.degree.grantorTexas State University
txstate.departmentHonors College


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