This report outlines a new method for computing economic loss in cases of wrongful death. The authors use the human capital (or lost economic output) approach because it dominates actual litigation. In this conceptual model, economic loss is the value of the decedent's lost future productivity, market and nonmarket. The methodology includes seven elements: (1) base-year incomes, (2) salary growth, (3) worklife discounts, (4) nonmarket loss, (5) personal consumption offset, (6) taxes, and (7) discount rates. The methodology can be applied in a wide range of tort cases besides wrongful death.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.