First Do No Harm? Tort Reform and Birth Outcomes
AbstractIn the 1980s and 1990s many states adopted tort reforms. It has been argued that these reforms have reduced the practice of defensive medicine arising from excess tort liability. We find that this does not appear to be true for a large and important class of cases-childbirth in the United States. Using data from national vital statistics natality files on millions of individual births from 1989 to 2001, we ask whether specific tort reforms affect the types of procedures that are performed, and the health outcomes of mothers and their infants. We find that reform of the Joint and Several Liability rule (or the "deep pockets rule") reduces complications of labor and procedure use, whereas caps on noneconomic damages increase them. We show that these results are consistent with a model of tort reform that explicitly allows for variations in patient condition. (c) 2008 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology..
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.
Volume (Year): 123 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/
Other versions of this item:
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
- K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Danzon, Patricia M., 2000.
"Liability for medical malpractice,"
Handbook of Health Economics,
in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1339-1404
- Beomsoo Kim, 2007. "The Impact of Malpractice Risk on the Use of Obstetrics Procedures," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S2), pages S79-S119, 06.
- Sloan, Frank A. & Entman, Stephen S. & Reilly, Bridget A. & Glass, Cheryl A. & Hickson, Gerald B. & Zhang, Harold H., 1997.
"Tort liability and obstetricians' care levels,"
International Review of Law and Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 245-260, June.
- Jennifer Arlen & W. Bentley MacLeod, 2005.
"Torts, Expertise, and Authority: Liability of Physicians and Managed Care Organizations,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(3), pages 494-519, Autumn.
- Jennifer Arlen & W.Bentley Macleod, 2004. "Torts, Expertise, and Authority: Liability of Physicians and Managed Care Organizations," Working Papers 04-26, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
- Daniel P. Kessler & Mark McClellan, 1996. "Do Doctors Practice Defensive Medicine?," NBER Working Papers 5466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2004.
"The Costs of Low Birth Weight,"
NBER Working Papers
10552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kessler, Daniel & McClellan, Mark, 1996. "Do Doctors Practice Defensive Medicine?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 353-90, May.
- Steven Shavell, 2003.
"Economic Analysis of Accident Law,"
NBER Working Papers
9694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Currie, Janet & Gruber, Jonathan, 2001. "Public health insurance and medical treatment: the equalizing impact of the Medicaid expansions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 63-89, October.
- Currie, Janet & Gruber, Jonathan & Fischer, Michael, 1995.
"Physician Payments and Infant Mortality: Evidence from Medicaid Fee Policy,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 106-11, May.
- Janet Currie & Jonathan Gruber & Michael Fischer, 1994. "Physician Payments and Infant Mortality: Evidence from Medicaid Fee Policy," NBER Working Papers 4930, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dubay, Lisa & Kaestner, Robert & Waidmann, Timothy, 1999. "The impact of malpractice fears on cesarean section rates," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 491-522, August.
- Browne, Mark J & Puelz, Robert, 1999. "The Effect of Legal Rules on the Value of Economic and Non-economic Damages and the Decision to File," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 189-213, August.
- Jon Gruber & John Kim & Dina Mayzlin, 1998. "Physician Fees and Procedure Intensity: The Case of Cesarean Delivery," NBER Working Papers 6744, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Pauly Danzon. Patricia M. & Kington Mark V. & Raynard S., 1990.
"The Effects of Malpractice Litigation on Physicians' Fees and Incomes,"
University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State
59, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
- Danzon, Patricia M & Pauly, Mark V & Kington, Raynard S, 1990. "The Effects of Malpractice Litigation on Physicians' Fees and Incomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 122-27, May.
- Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Mother'S Education And The Intergenerational Transmission Of Human Capital: Evidence From College Openings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1495-1532, November.
- Frank A. Sloan & Lindsey M. Chepke, 2008. "Medical Malpractice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262195720, December.
- Dranove, David, 1988. "Demand Inducement and the Physician/Patient Relationship," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(2), pages 281-98, April.
- Arab Naz & Umar Daraz & Waseem Khan & Qaisar Khan & Tariq Khan & Anwar Alam & Irum Mughal, 2013. "Human’s Complexity and Man’s Atrocity: Causes Of Medical Malpractices among Pakhtuns of Pakistan," Asian Journal of Empirical Research, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 3(3), pages 286-297, March.
- Anca Cotet, 2009. "Tort Reform and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from State-by-State Variation in Non-Economic Damages Caps," Working Papers 200901, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2010.
- Janet Currie & W. Bentley MacLeod, 2013. "Diagnosis and Unnecessary Procedure Use: Evidence from C-Section," NBER Working Papers 18977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Amitabh Chandra & Jonathan S. Skinner, 2011.
"Technology Growth and Expenditure Growth in Health Care,"
NBER Working Papers
16953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Amitabh Chandra & Jonathan Skinner, 2012. "Technology Growth and Expenditure Growth in Health Care," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(3), pages 645-80, September.
- Sloan, Frank A. & Shadle, John H., 2009. "Is there empirical evidence for "Defensive Medicine"? A reassessment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 481-491, March.
- Darius N. Lakdawalla & Seth A. Seabury, 2009. "The Welfare Effects of Medical Malpractice Liability," NBER Working Papers 15383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Shurtz, Ity, 2013. "The impact of medical errors on physician behavior: Evidence from malpractice litigation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 331-340.
- Álvaro Bustos & Ronen Avraham., 2008.
"The Unexpected Effects of Caps on Non-Economic Damages,"
Documentos de Trabajo
353, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
- Avraham, Ronen & Bustos, Álvaro, 2010. "The unexpected effects of caps on non-economic damages," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 291-305, December.
- Daniel Carvell & Janet Currie & W. Bentley MacLeod, 2012.
"Accidental death and the rule of joint and several liability,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
RAND Corporation, vol. 43(1), pages 51-77, 03.
- Daniel Carvell & Janet Currie & W. Bentley MacLeod, 2009. "Accidental Death and the Rule of Joint and Several Liability," NBER Working Papers 15412, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daysal, N. Meltem & Trandafir, Mircea & van Ewijk, Reyn, 2013. "Returns to Childbirth Technologies: Evidence from Preterm Births," IZA Discussion Papers 7834, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Daniel P. Kessler, 2011. "Evaluating the Medical Malpractice System and Options for Reform," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 93-110, Spring.
- Benjamin Ho & Elaine Liu, 2011. "Does sorry work? The impact of apology laws on medical malpractice," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 141-167, October.
- Kesternich, Iris & Schumacher, Heiner & Winter, Joachim, 2014. "Professional norms and physician behavior: homo oeconomicus or homo hippocraticus?," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 456, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
- Eric Helland & Darius N. Lakdawalla & Anup Malani & Seth A. Seabury, 2014. "Unintended Consequences of Products Liability: Evidence from the Pharmaceutical Market," NBER Working Papers 20005, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Erin M. Johnson & M. Marit Rehavi, 2013. "Physicians Treating Physicians: Information and Incentives in Childbirth," NBER Working Papers 19242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lakdawalla, Darius N. & Seabury, Seth A., 2012. "The welfare effects of medical malpractice liability," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 356-369.
- Anca Cotet, 2009. "More Evidence on the Quality-Quantity Trade-off in Medical Care," Working Papers 200902, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2010.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Karie Kirkpatrick).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.