Expert statistical testimony and epidemiological evidence: The toxic effects of lead exposure on children
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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The past two decades have seen a dramatic growth in the use of statisticians and economists for the presentation of expert testimony in legal proceedings. In this paper, we describe a hypothetical case modeled on real ones and involving statistical testimony regarding the causal effect of lead on lowering the IQs of children who ingest lead paint chips. The data we use come from a well-known pioneering study on the topic and the analyses we describe as the expert testimony are similar to ones that can be found in major scientific journals. The battle of the experts in this hypothetical case resembles that which many encounter as expert witnesses. The paper concludes with some observations and advice.
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