Influence and deterrence: How obstetricians respond to litigation against themselves and their colleagues

David Dranove, Yasutora Watanabe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

The willingness of individuals to engage in a harmful act may be influenced by direct personal experiences and the experiences of others, which can inform individuals about the likely consequences of their actions. In this paper, we examine how obstetricians respond to litigation. It is contended that obstetricians respond to increases in litigiousness by performing more cesarean sections. Using micro data, we examine whether physicians perform more cesareans after they or their colleagues have been contacted about a lawsuit. We observe very small, short-lived increases in cesarean section rates. It does not appear that the recent sharp rise in cesarean section rates is in direct response to litigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberahp016
Pages (from-to)69-94
Number of pages26
JournalAmerican Law and Economics Review
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 28 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Law

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