IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Impact of Malpractice Risk on the Use of Obstetrics Procedures

  • Beomsoo Kim

Recent malpractice premium hikes and federal tort reform proposals have focused attention on medical liability costs. One frequent justification for tort reform proposals is the potential impact of liability on defensive medicine. There is, however, scant and conflicting evidence on whether malpractice risk alters physician practices. In this paper, I examine whether malpractice risk alters the procedure choices of obstetricians, who face one of the highest rates of malpractice lawsuits among medical specialties. By focusing on obstetricians, I can observe the impact of malpractice risk on the use of procedures such as cesarean sections, prenatal care visits, diagnostic tests, and so on. Because the measured malpractice risk may signal something unobserved about physician quality or practice style, I use malpractice claims against doctors with specialties other than obstetrics and gynecology (ob-gyn) as an instrument for ob-gyn claims. I find that cesarean section rates and most other measures of physician behavior are not sensitive to medical malpractice risk. (c) 2007 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..

If 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.

File URL:
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

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.

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

Volume (Year): 36 (2007)
Issue (Month): S2 (06)
Pages: S79-S119

in new window

Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:36:y:2007:i:s2:p:s79-s119
Contact details of provider: Web page:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:36:y:2007:i:s2:p:s79-s119. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.