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The welfare effects of medical malpractice liability

Darius Lakdawalla and Seth Seabury

International Review of Law and Economics, 2012, vol. 32, issue 4, 356-369

Abstract: We use variation in the generosity of local juries to identify the causal impact of medical malpractice liability on social welfare. Growth in malpractice payments contributed at most 5% points to the 33% total real growth in medical expenditures from 1990 to 2003. On the other hand, malpractice leads to modest mortality reductions; the value of these more than likely exceeds the costs of malpractice liability. Therefore, reducing malpractice liability is unlikely to have a major impact on health care spending, and unlikely to be cost-effective over conventionally accepted values of a statistical life.

Keywords: Medical malpractice liability; Medical expenditures; Defensive medicine (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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Working Paper: The Welfare Effects of Medical Malpractice Liability (2009) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:32:y:2012:i:4:p:356-369

DOI: 10.1016/j.irle.2012.07.003

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