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Tort reform and caesarean deliveries

  • Alfredo G. Esposto
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    This study examines the effects of state-level, tort law reforms on the rate of caesarean deliveries in the United States. The central thesis focuses on the rate of caesarean deliveries as an indicator of defensive medicine and the role, if any, of legal reform. Specifically, if physicians reduce their level of defensive medicine in the wake of liability reforms, this will show up as a reduction in the share of births in which a caesarean section was used. I discover after analysing panel data reflecting the rate of caesarean deliveries by states and for the years 1987, 1990 and 1993 that differences in rate of caesarean deliveries are partially the result of state-level liability reforms. The results provide further evidence of the existence of defensive medicine and of the impact of the legal environment on physician's choice of medical procedures.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/13504851.2011.617683
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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics Letters.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 12 (August)
    Pages: 1171-1174

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:19:y:2012:i:12:p:1171-1174
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