Is COVID-19 Disruptive to Traditional Economic Models?

By IMS Insights Podcast

In this exclusive expert video briefing from the IMS COVID-19 Research Insights Series, we speak with economist Donald House about how the pandemic has affected current economic models and how to move forward.

Chris Ritter: Traditionally when an economist comes in and testifies, they don't testify on any of the liability issues. Their job is really to kind of let those issues be resolved somewhere else, but to come up and decide what level of damages are appropriate. And typically, how is that done? And how do you see that changing if at all as a result of COVID?

Don House: Well, it changes what is to be expected normally, if for instance there was a fire, and there was a shop that burned down and was rebuilt, we have the historical record. And perhaps how quickly you can recover back to normalcy, especially if it's a relatively short period of time. Here however, you've been shut down for maybe two and three months, and you have a customer base that may be hesitant to come back and shop at the same patterns that they did before COVID-19. And this is untraveled waters. We don't know how long it will take for the local markets really to come back to what we would call a normal situation.

So in terms of calculating future damages, and that's what economists often are trying to do, it's very difficult to find a parallel. That is, is there any kind of comparable industry that you could look at? No, they're all affected. Is there a before and after? Can we go back to a period of time when this happened before and track the recovery period? No, we don't have that either. So it's going to be difficult to calculate future damages, which would include some notion of recovery from the COVID-19, which we haven't seen before.

In Depth Analysis

IMS Consulting & Expert Services

IMS Consulting & Expert Services delivers consultative trial and expert services for the most influential global firms. For nearly thirty years, the company has been dedicated to helping clients tell clear and persuasive stories that educate jurors and decision-makers. Through more than 20,000 cases and well over 1,000 trials, attorneys have trusted IMS to equip them with the perspective and tools they need to help their clients succeed. With offices in New York, Dallas, Oakland, and Pensacola, the company provides persuasion strategy, expert witness, jury consulting, trial graphics, and trial presentation services. IMS has been recognized as an industry leader by several notable publications, receiving nine consecutive rankings on the Inc. 5000 list, standing in ten categories of The National Law Journal’s “Best Of 2021” awards, and positioning in the National Law Review’s prestigious “Go-To Thought Leader” awards for three consecutive years. More at


Dr. Don House is an economist, litigation consultant, damages expert, the president of RRC Inc., and an IMS Elite Expert contributing thought leadership. Dr. House is published in many leading professional journals and has also testified in a number of trials. Read more about Don House>>

Get The Expertise You Need

Fill out this form to tell us about your case and needs. You can also call or email us directly.