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The Effect of Malpractice Liability on the Specialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology

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  • Jessica Wolpaw Reyes

Abstract

Using data from a 2003 survey of 1,476 obstetrician-gynecologists, the effects of malpractice pressure on the specialty are investigated. Physicians report having made substantial changes to their practice in response to the general environment and to liability pressures. Regression analysis finds that liability pressure increases reports of income and practice reductions, but direct effects on actual income and productivity are less clear. Liability pressures may lead to a specialization effect, with some physicians concentrating more in obstetrics and others in gynecological surgery. Overall, the evidence suggests that liability pressure has moderate but significant effects on the specialty.

Suggested Citation

  • Jessica Wolpaw Reyes, 2010. "The Effect of Malpractice Liability on the Specialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology," NBER Working Papers 15841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15841
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15841.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mello, Michelle M. & Hemenway, David, 2004. "Medical malpractice as an epidemiological problem," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 39-46, July.
    2. Danzon, Patricia M., 2000. "Liability for medical malpractice," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1339-1404 Elsevier.
    3. Jonathan Klick & Thomas Stratmann, 2007. "Medical Malpractice Reform and Physicians in High-Risk Specialties," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S2), pages 121-142, June.
    4. Katherine Baicker & Amitabh Chandra, 2005. "The Effect of Malpractice Liability on the Delivery of Health Care," NBER Chapters,in: Frontiers in Health Policy Research, Volume 8 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Montanera, 2016. "The importance of negative defensive medicine in the effects of malpractice reform," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(3), pages 355-369, April.
    2. Shurtz, Ity, 2013. "The impact of medical errors on physician behavior: Evidence from malpractice litigation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 331-340.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics

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