Review of Law & Economics
Editor-in-Chief: Parisi, Francesco
Ed. by Cooter, Robert D. / Gómez Pomar, Fernando / Kornhauser, Lewis A. / Parchomovsky, Gideon / Engel, Christoph
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.196
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.401
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.244
The Demographics of Tort Reform
1Emory University, Dept. of Economics and Law School; Emory University, Law School
2Emory University, Dept. of Economics and Law School; Emory University, Law School
Citation Information: Review of Law & Economics. Volume 4, Issue 2, Pages 591–620, ISSN (Online) 1555-5879, DOI: 10.2202/1555-5879.1193, December 2008
- Published Online:
Tort reform may not affect all segments of society equally. Studies have shown that many tort reforms disproportionately reduce compensation to women, children, the elderly, disadvantaged minorities, and less affluent people. This study goes beyond tort reforms disproportionate effect on compensation, to explore whether tort reform also has a disproportionate effect on accidental death rates. We explain that, theoretically, tort reforms care-level effects and activity-level effects may disproportionately impact the accident rates of different groups. Using the most accurate, comprehensive data on medical malpractice tort reforms and state-level data from 1980-2000, we examine empirically whether tort reforms indeed have such a disproportionate effect. The results from our empirical analysis are consistent with our theoretical predictions. We find that the impact of tort reform varies substantially among demographic groups. When we consider the net effect of all the reforms in our study together, our results suggest that women, children, and the elderly do not enjoy tort reforms benefits as much as men and middle-aged people. In fact, they might even be harmed by reform.
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