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

    37 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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