Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New NBER Working Papers on Homocide Laws

Using Audit Studies to Test for Physician Induced Demand: The Case of Antibiotic Abuse in China
Janet Currie, Wanchuan Lin, Juanjuan Meng

NBER Working Paper No. 18153
Issued in June 2012
NBER Program(s):   HC   HE

The overuse of medical services including antibiotics is often blamed on Physician Induced Demand. But since this theory is about physician motivations, it is difficult to test. We conduct an audit study in which physician financial incentives, beliefs about what patients want, and desires to reciprocate for a small gift are systematically varied. We find that all of these treatments reduce antibiotics prescriptions, suggesting that antibiotics abuse in China is not driven by patients actively demanding antibiotics, by physicians believing that patients want antibiotics, or by physicians believing that antibiotics are in the best interests of their patients, but is largely driven by financial incentives. Our results also show that physician behavior can be significantly influenced by the receipt of a token gift, such as a pen.

Stand Your Ground Laws and Homicides
Chandler B. McClellan, Erdal Tekin

NBER Working Paper No. 18187
Issued in June 2012
NBER Program(s):   HE   LE

Since 2005, eighteen states have passed legislation that has extended the right to self-defense, with no duty to retreat, to places a person has a legal right to be, and several other states are debating to introduce similar legislation. The controversies surrounding these laws have captured the nation’s attention recently. Despite significant implications that they may have on public safety, there has been little empirical investigation of the impact of these laws on crime and victimization. In this paper, we examine how Stand Your Ground laws that extend the right to self-defense to areas outside the home affect homicides using monthly data from the U.S. Vital Statistics. We identify the impact of these laws by exploiting the variation in the effective date of these laws across states. Our results indicate that Stand Your Ground laws are associated with a significant increase in the number of homicides among whites, especially white males. According to our estimates, between 4.39 and 7.44 additional white males are killed each month as a result of these laws. We find no evidence to suggest that these laws increase homicides among blacks. Our results are robust to a number of specifications and unlikely to be driven entirely by the killings of assailants. Taken together, our findings raise serious doubts against the argument that Stand Your Ground laws make America safer.

No comments: