Matthew B. Frank
1585 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
Institutional Affiliation: Harvard University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2017||The 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...