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Influence and Deterrence: How Obstetricians Respond to Litigation against Themselves and Their Colleagues

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  • David Dranove
  • Yasutora Watanabe

Abstract

The willingness of individuals to engage in a harmful act may be influenced by direct personal experiences and the experiences of others, which can inform individuals about the likely consequences of their actions. In this paper, we examine how obstetricians respond to litigation. It is contended that obstetricians respond to increases in litigiousness by performing more cesarean sections. Using micro data, we examine whether physicians perform more cesareans after they or their colleagues have been contacted about a lawsuit. We observe very small, short-lived increases in cesarean section rates. It does not appear that the recent sharp rise in cesarean section rates is in direct response to litigation. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • David Dranove & Yasutora Watanabe, 2009. "Influence and Deterrence: How Obstetricians Respond to Litigation against Themselves and Their Colleagues," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 69-94.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:amlawe:v:12:y:2009:i:1:p:69-94
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/aler/ahp016
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    Cited by:

    1. Paola Bertoli & Veronica Grembi, 2017. "Medical Malpractice: How Legal Liability Affects Medical Decisions," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp600, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    2. Rosa Ferrer Zarzuela, 2015. "The effect of lawyers' career concerns on litigation," Economics Working Papers 1496, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2016.
    3. Paola Bertoli & Veronica Grembi, 2017. "Exploring the Nexus between Certainty in Injury Compensation and Treatment Selection," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp603, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    4. 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.
    5. Bertoli, P.; Grembi, V.; Kazakis, P.;, 2017. "Healthy Immigrant Effect or Over-Medicalization of Pregnancy? Evidence from Birth Certificates," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 17/26, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    6. Sofia Amaral-Garcia & Paola Bertoli & Veronica Grembi, 2015. "Does Experience Rating Improve Obstetric Practices? Evidence From Geographical Discontinuities in Italy," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp540, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    7. Amaral-Garcia, S. & Bertoli, P. & Grembi, V., 2014. "Does Experience Rating Improve Obstetric Practices? Evidence From Geographical Discontinuities," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 14/23, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

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