Mark J Schlesinger PhD

Professor of Public Health (Health Policy)

Research Interests

Health care


Research Summary

Professor Schlesinger's research focuses on three topics. The first explores ways in which the general public and policymakers make sense of and communicate about complex social issues, as well as how they evaluate policies to address those issues. This research examines the determinants of public opinion, the role of political framing, and the importance of norms of fairness in policy assessment. The second set of research examines the impact of ownership on the delivery of health and social services. These studies explore the comparative performance of nonprofit, for-profit and public health care agencies, the nature of public expectations involving ownership, and the extent to which ownership is related to trust in and trustworthiness of medical care. The third set of research examines the attitudinal and behavioral underpinnings of medical consumerism, comparing the effectiveness of exit versus voice to improve medical markets, and identifying the barriers to effective consumer empowerment.


Selected Publications

  • Schlesinger, M. and Lau, R.R. The meaning and measure of policy metaphors. American Political Science Review 94(3): 611-26, 2000
  • Schlesinger, M. A loss of faith: The sources of reduced political legitimacy for the American medical profession. Milbank Quarterly 80(2): 1-45, 2002
  • Schlesinger, M. On values and democratic policymaking: The fragile consensus around market-oriented medical care. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 27(6): 889-926, 2002
  • Gusmano, M., Schlesinger, M., and Thomas, T. Policy feedback and public opinion: The role of employer responsibility in social policy. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 27(5): 731-72, 2002
  • Schlesinger, M., Mitchell, S., and Gray, B. Public expectations of nonprofit and for-profit ownership in American medicine: Clarifications and implications. Health Affairs 23(6): 181-191, 2004
  • Schlesinger, M., and Gray, B. Nonprofit Organizations and Health Care: The Paradox of Persistent Attention. In: The Nonprofit Sector: A Research Handbook, 2nd Edition, W.W. Powell and R. Steinberg (Eds.). New Haven: Yale University Press, in press, 2005
  • Rosenthal, M. and Schlesinger, M. Not afraid to blame: The neglected role of blame attribution in medical consumerism and some implications for health policy. Milbank Quarterly 80(1): 41-95, 2002
  • Schlesinger, M., Mitchell, S., and Elbel, B. Voices unheard: Barriers to the expression of dissatisfaction with health plans. Milbank Quarterly 80(4): 709-755, 2002

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