Medical Malpractice Reform and Physicians in High-Risk Specialties
University of Pennsylvania Law School; Erasmus School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center
George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics
January 28, 2010
Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 36, p. S121, 2007
If medical malpractice reform affects the supply of physicians, the effects will be concentrated in specialties facing high liability exposure. Many doctors are likely to be indifferent regarding reform, because their likelihood of being sued is low. This difference can be exploited to isolate the causal effect of medical malpractice reform on the supply of doctors in high-risk specialties, by using doctors in low-risk specialties as a contemporaneous within-state control group. Using this triple-differences design to control for unobserved effects that correlate with the passage of medical malpractice reform, we show that only caps on noneconomic damages have a statistically significant effect on the per capita number of doctors and that this effect is concentrated among only those specialties that face the highest litigation exposure.
Posted paper is the published version of the working paper originally posted November 2003 and formerly titled "Does Medical Malpractice Reform Help States Retain Physicians and Does it Matter?".
Number of Pages in PDF File: 22
Keywords: Malpractice, Tort Reform, Infant Mortality, Defensive Medicine, Physicians
JEL Classification: I11, I12, I18, K13, K32, D00
Date posted: November 19, 2003 ; Last revised: January 30, 2010
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