NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Matthew B. Frank

1585 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Harvard University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2017The Effect of Malpractice Law on Physician Supply: Evidence from Negligence-Standard Reforms
with Michael D. Frakes, Seth A. Seabury: w23446
We explore whether the composition of the physician work force is impacted by the clinical standards imposed on physicians under medical liability rules. We theorize that physicians of particular backgrounds will be attracted to regions when the malpractice laws of those regions favor the type of medicine characteristic of those backgrounds. To test this prediction, we rely on a quasi-experiment made possible by states shifting from local to national customs as the basis for setting standards at court, a distinction that captures meaningful differences in the clinical expectations of the law in light of the well documented phenomenon of regional variations in medical practices. Using data from the Area Health Resource File from 1977 to 2005, we find that the rate of surgeons among pract...
 
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