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Medical Malpractice


  • Frank A. Sloan

    () (Duke University)

  • Lindsey M. Chepke

    () (Center for Health Policy, Duke University)


Most experts would agree that the current medical malpractice system in the United States does not work effectively either to compensate victims fairly or prevent injuries caused by medical errors. Policy responses to a series of medical malpractice crises have not resulted in effective reform and have not altered the fundamental incentives of the stakeholders. In Medical Malpractice, economist Frank Sloan and lawyer Lindsey Chepke examine the U.S. medical malpractice process from legal, medical, economic, and insurance perspectives, analyze past efforts at reform, and offer realistic, achievable policy recommendations. They review the considerable empirical evidence in a balanced fashion and assess objectively what works in the current system and what does not. Sloan and Chepke argue that the complexity of medical malpractice stems largely from the interaction of the four discrete markets that determine outcomes--legal, medical malpractice insurance, medical care, and government activity. After describing what the evidence shows about the functioning of medical malpractice, types of defensive medicine, and the effects of past reforms, they examine such topics as scheduling damages as an alternative to flat caps, jury behavior, health courts, incentives to prevent medical errors, insurance regulation, reinsurance, no-fault insurance, and suggestions for future reforms. Medical Malpractice is the most comprehensive treatment of malpractice available, integrating findings from several different areas of research and describing them accessibly in nontechnical language. It will be an essential reference for anyone interested in medical malpractice.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank A. Sloan & Lindsey M. Chepke, 2008. "Medical Malpractice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262195720, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262195720

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Kumhof & Evan C Tanner, 2005. "Government Debt; A Key Role in Financial Intermediation," IMF Working Papers 05/57, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen Reinhart, 2003. "The Center and the Periphery: The Globalization of Financial Turmoil," NBER Working Papers 9479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Amartya Lahiri & Rajesh Singh & Carlos A. Vegh, 2007. "Optimal Exchange Rate Regimes: Turning Mundell-Fleming's Dictum on its Head," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 54(3), pages 249-270, September.
    4. Fabrizio Coricelli & Bostjan Jazbec & Igor Masten, 2008. "Sources and Obstacles for Growth in Transition Countries: The Role of Credit," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00643347, HAL.
    5. repec:hal:journl:hal-00643347 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Andrew Friedson & Thomas Kniesner, 2012. "Losers and losers: Some demographics of medical malpractice tort reforms," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 115-133, October.
    2. Frank A. Sloan & Patricia A. Robinson & Lindsey M. Eldred, 2014. "Does Private Information Influence Automobile Insurance Purchase Decisions?," NBER Working Papers 20679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Patricia Born & W. Kip Viscusi & Tom Baker, 2009. "The Effects of Tort Reform on Medical Malpractice Insurers' Ultimate Losses," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 76(1), pages 197-219.
    4. Daniel P. Kessler & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 2004. "Empirical Study of the Civil Justice System," NBER Working Papers 10825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Janet Currie & W. Bentley MacLeod, 2008. "First Do No Harm? Tort Reform and Birth Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 795-830.
    6. 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.
    7. Daniel P. Kessler & Mark B. McClellan, 2000. "How Liability Law Affects Medical Productivity," NBER Working Papers 7533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Daniel P. Kessler & Mark McClellan, 1998. "The Effects of Malpractice Pressure and Liability Reforms on Physicians' Perceptions of Medical Care," NBER Working Papers 6346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Donald J., Wright, 2011. "Medical malpractice and physician liability under a negligence rule," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 205-211, September.
    12. Martin Boyer & Karine Gobert, 2009. "Professional Liability Insurance Contracts: Claims Made Versus Occurrence Policies," Cahiers de recherche 09-03, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    13. repec:tur:wpaper:3 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Patricia Born & M. Martin Boyer, 2011. "Claims‐Made and Reported Policies and Insurer Profitability in Medical Malpractice," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 78(1), pages 139-162, March.
    15. Grepperud, Sverre, 2009. "Medical errors: Getting the incentives right," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2003:10, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
    16. 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.
    17. Baicker Katherine & Chandra Amitabh, 2005. "The Effect of Malpractice Liability on the Delivery of Health Care," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-29, January.
    18. Katherine Baicker & Amitabh Chandra, 2006. "The Labor Market Effects of Rising Health Insurance Premiums," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 609-634, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law


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