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Politico-economic determinants of tort reforms in medical malpractice

Author

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  • Matter, Ulrich

    (University of Basel)

  • Stutzer, Alois

    (University of Basel)

Abstract

The U.S. tort system has experienced various reforms during the last three decades. While there is a broad literature on the consequences of these reforms, very little is known about their determinants. In this study, we investigate the politico-economic forces that were driving the reform process across U.S. states. We focus on five types of medical malpractice tort reform and apply semi-parametric proportional hazards models to assess the factors that are related to reform enactments. We find, first, that a higher fraction of Republicans in a state legislature as well as a Republican governor are the major drivers of medical malpractice tort reforms. Second, we find that a higher fraction of women in a state legislature is associated with reforms being deferred. This finding is corroborated by micro-evidence on female legislators’ voting behavior on medical malpractice tort reforms, and it is consistent with the notion that women are disproportionally aggrieved by such reforms.

Suggested Citation

  • Matter, Ulrich & Stutzer, Alois, 2015. "Politico-economic determinants of tort reforms in medical malpractice," Working papers 2015/02, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  • Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2015/02
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Panthöfer, S., 2016. "Do Doctors Prescribe Antibiotics Out of Fear of Malpractice?," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 16/31, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    tort reform ; tort law ; medical malpractice ; rent-seeking ; legislatures ; women in politics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics

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