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The Effects of Tort Reform on Medical Malpractice Insurers' Ultimate Losses

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  • Patricia Born
  • W. Kip Viscusi
  • Tom Baker

Abstract

Whereas the literature evaluating the effect of tort reforms has focused on reported incurred losses, this paper examines the long run effects using a comprehensive sample by state of individual firms writing medical malpractice insurance from 1984-2003. The long run effects of reforms are greater than insurers' expected effects, as five year developed losses and ten year developed losses are below the initially reported incurred losses for those years following reform measures. The quantile regressions show the greatest effects of joint and several liability limits, noneconomic damages caps, and punitive damages reforms for the firms that are at the high end of the loss distribution. These quantile regression results show stronger, more concentrated effects of the reforms than do the OLS and fixed effects estimates for the entire sample.

Suggested Citation

  • Patricia Born & W. Kip Viscusi & Tom Baker, 2006. "The Effects of Tort Reform on Medical Malpractice Insurers' Ultimate Losses," NBER Working Papers 12086, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12086
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Petroni, Kathy Ruby, 1992. "Optimistic reporting in the property- casualty insurance industry," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 485-508, December.
    2. Born, Patricia H, 2001. "Insurer Profitability in Different Regulatory and Legal Environments," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 211-237, July.
    3. Harrington, Scott E. & Danzon, Patricia M. & Epstein, Andrew J., 2008. ""Crises" in medical malpractice insurance: Evidence of excessive price-cutting in the preceding soft market," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 157-169, January.
    4. Viscusi, W. Kip & Zeckhauser, Richard J. & Born, Patricia & Blackmon, Glenn, 1993. "The Effect of 1980s Tort Reform Legislation on General Liability and Medical Malpractice Insurance," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 165-186, April.
    5. Joni Hersch & W. Kip Viscusi, 2004. "Punitive Damages: How Judges and Juries Perform," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 1-36, January.
    6. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
    7. repec:bin:bpeajo:v:29:y:1998:i:1998-3:p:55-105 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Koenker, Roger & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1982. "Robust Tests for Heteroscedasticity Based on Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 43-61, January.
    9. Danzon, Patricia, 1984. "The Frequency and Severity of Medical Malpractice Claims," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 115-148, April.
    10. W. Kip Viscusi & Patricia H. Born, 2005. "Damages Caps, Insurability, and the Performance of Medical Malpractice Insurance," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 72(1), pages 23-43.
    11. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
    12. Joni Hersch & Jeffrey O'Connell & W. Kip Viscusi, 2007. "An Empirical Assessment of Early Offer Reform for Medical Malpractice," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S2), pages 231-259, June.
    13. Viscusi, W Kip & Born, Patricia, 1995. "Medical Malpractice Insurance in the Wake of Liability Reform," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 463-490, June.
    14. Harrington, Scott E & Danzon, Patricia M, 1994. "Price Cutting in Liability Insurance Markets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67(4), pages 511-538, October.
    15. Frank A. Sloan & Lindsey M. Chepke, 2008. "Medical Malpractice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262195720, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher Carpenter, Sebastian Tello-Trillo, . "Do 'Cheeseburger Bills' Work? Effects of Tort Reform for Fast Food," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(4).
    2. Nick Hanley & Bengt Kriström & Jason F. Shogren, 2009. "Coherent Arbitrariness: On Value Uncertainty for Environmental Goods," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 85(1), pages 41-50.
    3. Gomez, Fernando & Penalva, Jose, 2015. "Tort reform and the theory of coordinating tort and insurance," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 83-97.
    4. Altuntas, Muhammed & Berry-Stölzle, Thomas R. & Wende, Sabine, 2015. "Does one size fit all? Determinants of insurer capital structure around the globe," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 251-271.
    5. Malani, Anup & Reif, Julian, 2015. "Interpreting pre-trends as anticipation: Impact on estimated treatment effects from tort reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 1-17.
    6. Patricia Born & Faith Roberts Neale, 2014. "The Differential Effects of Noneconomic Damage Cap Levels on Medical Malpractice Insurers," Risk Management and Insurance Review, American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 17(2), pages 163-181, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies

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