NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Michael D. Frakes

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

Working Papers and Chapters

January 2014Does Medical Malpractice Law Improve Health Care Quality?
with Anupam B. Jena: w19841
Despite the fundamental role of deterrence in justifying a system of medical malpractice law, surprisingly little evidence has been put forth to date bearing on the relationship between medical liability forces on the one hand and medical errors and health care quality on the other. In this paper, we estimate this relationship using clinically validated measures of health care treatment quality constructed with data from the 1979 to 2005 National Hospital Discharge Surveys and the 1987 to 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System records. Drawing upon traditional, remedy-centric tort reforms—e.g., damage caps—we estimate that the current liability system plays at most a modest role in inducing higher levels of health care quality. We contend that this limited independent role for ...
July 2005Does Falling Smoking Lead to Rising Obesity?
with Jonathan Gruber: w11483
The strong negative correlation over time between smoking rates and obesity have led some to suggest that reduced smoking is increasing weight gain in the U.S.. This conclusion is supported by the findings of Chou et al. (2004), who conclude that higher cigarette prices lead to increased body weight. We investigate this issue and find no evidence that reduced smoking leads to weight gain. Using the cigarette tax rather than the cigarette price and controlling for non-linear time effects, we find a negative effect of cigarette taxes on body weight, implying that reduced smoking leads to lower body weights. Yet our results, as well as Chou et al., imply implausibly large effects of smoking on body weight. Thus, we cannot confirm that falling smoking leads in a major way to rising obesit...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

 
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