Eastern Economic Journal

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 437–454 | Cite as

Tort Reforms and the Gender Distribution of Physicians

  • Hsueh-Hsiang Li
  • Alexandra Bernasek
Original Article


Exploiting variation in tort laws at the state level, this paper finds empirical evidence of gender differences in responding to malpractice lawsuit liability by physicians. We find that a cap on non-economic damages increases female physicians’ relative representation in reform states by 1.297 percentage points (or 3.2 percent) among young physicians. This result is robust to the inclusion of state economic conditions, demographics, and the gender distribution of physicians by their state of birth, state of medical education, and state of residency training. No gender differences are found among physicians who are 35 years of age or older.


gender risk aversion tort reforms 


J16 J61 K13 


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Copyright information

© EEA 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Colorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

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