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The Sisyphus Syndrome in Health Revisited

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  • Peter Zweifel

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  • Lukas Steinmann
  • Patrick Eugster

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

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Zweifel & Lukas Steinmann & Patrick Eugster, 2005. "The Sisyphus Syndrome in Health Revisited," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 127-145, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:ijhcfe:v:5:y:2005:i:2:p:127-145 DOI: 10.1007/s10754-005-1864-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kuhn, Michael & Frankovic, Ivan & Wrzaczek, Stefan, 2017. "Medical Progress, Demand for Health Care, and Economic Performance," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168249, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Ivan Frankovic & Michael Kuhn & Stefan Wrzaczek, 2016. "Medical Care within an OLG Economy with Realistic Demography," VID Working Papers 1603, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.
    3. Sule Akkoyunlu & Frank R. Lichtenberg & Boriss Siliverstovs & Peter Zweifel, 2010. "Spurious correlation in estimation of the health production function: A note," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(3), pages 2505-2514.
    4. Wen-Yi Chen & Yia-Wun Liang & Yu-Hui Lin, 2016. "Is the United States in the middle of a healthcare bubble?," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(1), pages 99-111, January.
    5. Kuhn, Michael & Wrzaczek, Stefan & Prskawetz, Alexia & Feichtinger, Gustav, 2015. "Optimal choice of health and retirement in a life-cycle model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 158(PA), pages 186-212.
    6. Wen-Yi Chen, 2013. "Does healthcare financing converge? Evidence from eight OECD countries," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 279-300, December.
    7. 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, pages 263-272.
    8. Friedrich Breyer & Normann Lorenz & Thomas Niebel, 2015. "Health care expenditures and longevity: is there a Eubie Blake effect?," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 16(1), pages 95-112, January.
    9. Peter Zweifel, 2006. "Auftrag und Grenzen der Sozialen Krankenversicherung," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(s1), pages 5-26, May.
    10. Wen-Yi Chen & Miin-Jye Wen & Yu-Hui Lin & Yia-Wun Liang, 2016. "On the relationship between healthcare expenditure and longevity: evidence from the continuous wavelet analyses," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, pages 1041-1057.
    11. Ried Walter, 2007. "Medizinisch-technischer Fortschritt und altersspezifische Gesundheitsausgaben / Medical Progress and Age-specific Expenditure on Health Care," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 227(5-6), pages 636-659, October.
    12. 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.
    13. Breyer Friedrich, 2015. "Demographischer Wandel und Gesundheitsausgaben: Theorie, Empirie und Politikimplikationen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 16(3), pages 215-230, October.
    14. 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.
    15. Stefan Felder, 2013. "The Impact of Demographic Change on Healthcare Expenditure," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(1), pages 03-06, 04.
    16. Böhm, Sebastian & Grossmann, Volker & Strulik, Holger, 2017. "R&D-driven medical progess, health care costs, and the future of human longevity," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 325, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    17. Fan, Victoria Y. & Savedoff, William D., 2014. "The health financing transition: A conceptual framework and empirical evidence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 112-121.
    18. 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.
    19. Wen-Yi Chen & Yia-Wun Liang & Yu-Hui Lin, 2016. "Is the United States in the middle of a healthcare bubble?," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(1), pages 99-111, January.
    20. 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 Economics and Management, Springer, pages 391-402.
    21. repec:ces:ifodic:v:11:y:2013:i:1:p:19078503 is not listed on IDEAS

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