Gamboa-Gibson Worklife Expectancy Methods and Tables: A Summary of Criticisms Since 2009

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Thomas R. Ireland and Frank L. Slesnick. 2021. Gamboa-Gibson Worklife Expectancy Methods and Tables: A Summary of Criticisms Since 2009. Journal of Legal Economics 27(2): pp. 43–60.

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This discussion is an extended update to Thomas Ireland’s 2009 paper on ‘‘Why the Gamboa-Gibson Disability Worklife Expectancy Tables Are Without Merit.’’ That paper was intended to summarize an extensive literature that had developed by 2009 that pointed out three fatal shortcomings of the 2006 edition of Gamboa and Gibson publication The New Worklife Expectancy Tables, published by VEI, Inc. Since publication of the Ireland paper, two more editions of what would be called the Gamboa-Gibson Worklife Tables were published in 2010 and 2015. The tables themselves posed challenges that have not been addressed in the forensic economics literature. Court challenges to the methods used to compile the tables have continued, with mixed success. Employees of Vocational Economics, Inc., have largely switched from using data from the Current Population Survey to data based on the much larger American Community Survey. An important paper regarding changes in disability status has been published by Krueger and Skoog. In 2017 and 2018, a series of federal decisions rejecting use of the Gamboa-Gibson tables occurred, but employees of VEI, Inc. continue to be allowed to testify. As of March 2021, the tables themselves are no longer readily available for purchase, but employees of Vocational Economics are still using the methods used to construct the tables in current litigation. This paper discusses each of those developments.

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