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Medical Malpractice Reform and Physicians in High-Risk Specialties

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  • Jonathan Klick
  • Thomas Stratmann

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. (c) 2007 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..

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File URL: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdf/10.1086/520416
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Legal Studies.

Volume (Year): 36 (2007)
Issue (Month): S2 (06)
Pages: S121-S142

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:36:y:2007:i:s2:p:s121-s142

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLS/

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Darius N. Lakdawalla & Seth A. Seabury, 2009. "The Welfare Effects of Medical Malpractice Liability," NBER Working Papers 15383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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