Valuing Advice, Counsel and Companionship between Parents and Adult Children

Ireland, Thomas R. 2007. “Valuing Advice, Counsel and Companionship between Parents and Adult Children.”  The Earnings Analyst  9: 35-61.


This paper addresses efforts to provide pecuniary values for the services provided by adult children to their parents and parents to their adult children. It reviews the currently existing literature in forensic economics with respect to the dollar valuation of losses of such services. It considers the meaning of “pecuniary damages,” as that term is used in legal decisions. It considers at some length the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court in Michigan Central Railroad v. Vreeland (1913) and the New Jersey Supreme Court in Green v. Bittner (1980). It discusses the methods used by Frank Tinari and Stan Smith to project such damages and argues that such calculations, in most instances, are too speculative to be meaningful. It also provides an extended appendix consisting of descriptions of legal decisions that have bearing on the question of how forensic economists might value relational losses affecting parents and adult children.


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