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Medical Licensing Board Characteristics and Physician Discipline: An Empirical Analysis

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  • Marc T. Law
  • Zeynep K. Hansen

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between the characteristics of medical licensing boards and the frequency with which boards discipline physicians. Specifically, we take advantage of variation in the structure of medical licensing boards between 1993 and 2003 to determine the effect of organizational and budgetary independence, public oversight, and resource constraints on rates of physician discipline. We find that larger licensing boards, boards with more staff, and boards that are organizationally independent from state government discipline doctors more frequently. Public oversight and political control over board budgets do not appear to influence the extent to which medical licensing boards discipline doctors. These findings are broadly consistent with theories of regulatory behavior that emphasize the importance of bureaucratic autonomy for effective regulatory enforcement.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc T. Law & Zeynep K. Hansen, 2009. "Medical Licensing Board Characteristics and Physician Discipline: An Empirical Analysis," NBER Working Papers 15140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15140
    Note: HC HE POL
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
    2. Olson, Mary, 1996. "Substitution in Regulatory Agencies: FDA Enforcement Alternatives," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 376-407, October.
    3. Currie, Janet & Fahr, John, 2005. "Medicaid managed care: effects on children's Medicaid coverage and utilization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 85-108, January.
    4. Olson, Mary K, 1995. "Regulatory Agency Discretion among Competing Industries: Inside the FDA," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 379-405, October.
    5. McCubbins, Mathew D & Noll, Roger G & Weingast, Barry R, 1987. "Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 243-277, Fall.
    6. Marc T. Law, 2006. "How do Regulators Regulate? Enforcement of the Pure Food and Drugs Act, 1907--38," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(2), pages 459-489, October.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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