Seminario del Dpto. de Lógica, Historia y Filosofía de la ciencia

Viernes 16 de septiembre, 18.00 | Edificio de Humanidades (Senda del rey 7), Sala 06

Harro Maas (U. Lausanne): "Fraught with Controversy:Organizing Expertise on Contingent Valuation"



This paper examines consulting and expert work performed by (experimental) economists for the Exxon Valdez litigation case. One of the issues at stake was the use of a specific method, contingent valuation, to estimate the so-called passive use value part of the damage resulting from the Exxon Valdez oil spill in the night of March 24, 1989. In contrast with Public Trustees, who submitted a monetary damage estimate to the Court, Exxon decided to follow a radically different strategy: it organized an all-out assault on the method by which such a monetary estimate most likely was going to be produced. That strategy cut across social and epistemic commitments of different segments of the economics discipline, raising questions about the different meanings of expertise, and the role of economists in the legal, business, and public domain.