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The Sisyphus Syndrome in Health Revisited

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  • Peter Zweifel

    ()

  • Lukas Steinmann
  • Patrick Eugster
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    Abstract

    Health care may be similar to Sisyphus work: When the task is about to be completed, work has to start all over again. To see the analogy, consider an initial decision to allocate more resources to health. The likely consequence is an increased number of survivors, who will exert additional demand for health care. With more resources allocated to health, the cycle starts over again. The objective of this paper is to improve on earlier research that failed to find evidence of a Sisyphus syndrome in industrialized countries. This time, there are signs of such a cycle, which however seems to have faded away recently. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 127-145

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:ijhcfe:v:5:y:2005:i:2:p:127-145

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=106603

    Related research

    Keywords: production of health; health care expenditure; dynamic feedback; Sisyphus syndrome;

    References

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    1. Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J, 1973. "Transcendental Logarithmic Production Frontiers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(1), pages 28-45, February.
    2. Frech, H. E. III & Miller, Richard D. Jr., 1996. "The Productivity of Health Care and Pharmaceuticals: An International Comparison," University of California at Los Angeles, Research Program in Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy qt0d90459k, Research Program in Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy, UCLA.
    3. Pedro Pita Barros, 1998. "The black box of health care expenditure growth determinants," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(6), pages 533-544.
    4. Manishi Prasad & Peter Wahlqvist & Rich Shikiar & Ya-Chen Tina Shih, 2004. "A," PharmacoEconomics, Springer Healthcare | Adis, vol. 22(4), pages 225-244.
    5. Peter Zweifel & Stefan Felder & Markus Meiers, 1999. "Ageing of population and health care expenditure: a red herring?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(6), pages 485-496.
    6. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Jonsson, Bengt, 1991. "Conversion factor instability in international comparisons of health care expenditure," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 227-234, July.
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    Cited by:
    1. Fan, Victoria Y. & Savedoff, William D., 2014. "The health financing transition: A conceptual framework and empirical evidence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 112-121.
    2. Felder, Stefan & Werblow, Andreas & Zweifel, Peter, 2010. "Do red herrings swim in circles? Controlling for the endogeneity of time to death," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 205-212, March.
    3. Friedrich Breyer & Normann Lorenz & Thomas Niebel, 2012. "Health Care Expenditures and Longevity: Is there a Eubie Blake Effect?," Research Papers in Economics 2012-01, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    4. Sule Akkoyunlu & Frank R. Lichtenberg & Boriss Siliverstovs & Peter Zweifel, 2009. "Spurious correlation in estimation of the health production function: A note," SOI - Working Papers 0903, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    5. Wen-Yi Chen, 2013. "Does healthcare financing converge? Evidence from eight OECD countries," International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 279-300, December.
    6. Reibling, Nadine, 2013. "The international performance of healthcare systems in population health: Capabilities of pooled cross-sectional time series methods," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 122-132.
    7. Alfons Palangkaraya & Jongsay Yong, 2009. "Population ageing and its implications on aggregate health care demand: empirical evidence from 22 OECD countries," International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 391-402, December.
    8. Peter Zweifel, 2006. "Auftrag und Grenzen der Sozialen Krankenversicherung," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(s1), pages 5-26, 05.
    9. Victoria Fan and William Savedoff, 2014. "The Health Financing Transition: A Conceptual Framework and Empirical Evidence - Working Paper 358," Working Papers 358, Center for Global Development.
    10. Stefan Felder, 2013. "The Impact of Demographic Change on Healthcare Expenditure," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(1), pages 03-06, 04.
    11. Walter Ried, 2007. "Medizinisch-technischer Fortschritt und altersspezifische Gesundheitsausgaben," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 227(5+6), pages 636-659, December.
    12. Wong, Albert & Wouterse, Bram & Slobbe, Laurentius C.J. & Boshuizen, Hendriek C. & Polder, Johan J., 2012. "Medical innovation and age-specific trends in health care utilization: Findings and implications," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 263-272.

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