First Do No Harm?: Tort Reform and Birth Outcomes
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Princeton University
W. Bentley MacLeod
Columbia University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics
NBER Working Paper No. w12478
We examine the impact of tort reforms using U.S. birth records for 1989-2001. We make four contributions: First, we develop a model that analyzes the incentives created by specific tort reforms. Second, we assemble new data on tort reform. Third, we examine a range of outcomes. Finally, we allow for differential effects by demographic/risk group. We find that reforms of the "deep pockets rule" reduce complications of labor and C-sections, while caps on noneconomic damages increase them. Our results demonstrate there are important interactions between incentives created by tort law and other incentives facing physicians.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 51
Date posted: August 30, 2006