Medical Malpractice Reform and Physicians in High-Risk Specialties

22 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2003 Last revised: 30 Jan 2010

Jonathan Klick

University of Pennsylvania Law School; Erasmus School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Thomas Stratmann

George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: January 28, 2010

Abstract

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?".

Keywords: Malpractice, Tort Reform, Infant Mortality, Defensive Medicine, Physicians

JEL Classification: I11, I12, I18, K13, K32, D00

Suggested Citation

Klick, Jonathan and Stratmann, Thomas, Medical Malpractice Reform and Physicians in High-Risk Specialties (January 28, 2010). Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 36, p. S121, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=870492 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.453481

Jonathan Klick (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
2157463455 (Phone)

Erasmus School of Law ( email )

3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

Thomas Stratmann

George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-2330 (Phone)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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