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Do Physicians Respond to Liability Standards?

Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (Forthcoming)

Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 14-45

18 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2014 Last revised: 11 Sep 2014

Michael Frakes

Duke University School of Law

Matthew Frank

Harvard University, Law School, Students

Seth A. Seabury

University of Southern California - Keck School of Medicine

Date Written: August 2, 2014

Abstract

In this paper, we explore the sensitivity in the clinical decisions of physicians to the standards of care expected of them under the law, drawing on the abandonment by states over time of rules holding physicians to standards determined by local customs and the contemporaneous adoption of national-standard rules. Using data on broad rates of surgical interventions at the county-by-year level from the Area Resource File, we find that local surgery rates converge towards national surgery rates upon the adoption of national-standard rules. Moreover, we find that these effects are more pronounced among rural counties.

JEL Classification: I10, K13, K41

Suggested Citation

Frakes, Michael and Frank, Matthew and Seabury, Seth A., Do Physicians Respond to Liability Standards? (August 2, 2014). Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (Forthcoming); Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 14-45. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2475485 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2475485

Michael Frakes (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

Matthew Frank

Harvard University, Law School, Students ( email )

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Seth A. Seabury

University of Southern California - Keck School of Medicine ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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