The impact of medical liability standards on regional variations in physician behavior: Evidence from the adoption of national-standard rules

Michael Frakes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

I explore the association between regional variations in physician behavior and the geographical scope of malpractice standards of care. I estimate a 30-50 percent reduction in the gap between state and national utilization rates of various treatments and diagnostic procedures following the adoption of a rule requiring physicians to follow national, as opposed to local, standards. These findings suggest that standardization in malpractice law may lead to greater standardization in practices and, more generally, that physicians may indeed adhere to specific liability standards. In connection with the estimated convergence in practices, I observe no associated changes in patient health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-276
Number of pages20
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Volume103
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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