A related set of lawsuits involving billions of dollars has provided employment opportunities for a number of consulting economists specializing in antitrust issues or labor economics issues. I’ve been involved in three of the cases, and they have been great fun (and a good way of paying dental bills).
I was crestfallen to find out that I am not likely to be asked to work on the other cases, so I asked the attorneys why. They said very simply: if the other side finds a mistake or problem in your work on one case, they can use it on all the other cases; so we like to diversify.
I had never thought of risk aversion as being a basis for choosing workers in this kind of activity, but it makes good sense. No doubt it characterizes lots of other decisions about hiring individuals to work on related projects.
(Hat tip: DE)