Mark J Schlesinger, PhD

Professor of Public Health (Health Policy)

Research Interests

Health Policy; Ownership; Policy Making; Public Opinion

Research Organizations

School of Public Health

Office of Cooperative Research

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
  • M. Schlesinger. Making the best of hard times: how the nation’s economic circumstances shaped the public’s embrace of health care reform Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 2011; 36(6): 989-1020
  • Rehm, P., J.S. Hacker and M. Schlesinger Insecure alliances: Risk, inequality, and support for the welfare state American Political Science Review 2012;106(2): 386 – 406
  • 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
  • Elbel B, M Schlesinger, A neglected aspect of medical consumerism: responsive consumers in markets for health plans Milbank Quarterly 2009; 87(3): 633-82
  • M. Schlesinger. Choice cuts: parsing policymakers’ pursuit of patient empowerment from an individual perspective Journal of Health Economics, Policy and Law 2010; 5(3): 365-87.
  • Schlesinger, M. D. Kanouse, S. Martino, L Rybowksi, D. Shaller. The effects of complexity on consumers’ choice of doctors: a look inside the blackest box. Medical Care Research & Review 2014: 71(5) suppl: pp. 38S-64S.
  • D. Shaller, D. Kanouse, M. Schlesinger. Context-based strategies for engaging consumers with public reports about health care providers Medical Care Research & Review 2014: 71(5) suppl: pp. 17S-37S.
  • Schlesinger M. Crowding out: multiple manifestations, muddled meanings Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 2012; 37(5): 851-64.
  • Hacker, J, G, Huber, A, Nichols, P Rehm, M Schlesinger, R Valletta and S. Craig. The economic security index: A new measure for research and policy analysis. The Review of Income and Wealth 2014; 60: (Suppl): S5-S32.
  • 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

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Contact Info

Mark J Schlesinger, PhD
Office Location
Laboratory of Epidemiology and Public Health
60 College Street, Ste 304

New Haven, CT 06510
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Mailing Address
Yale School of Public HealthPO Box 208034
60 College Street

New Haven, CT 06520-8034