Joseph White

Chair, and The Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy

Joseph White

Research Interests

Public policy; federal budgeting policy and politics; health care finance in the United States and other rich democracies, especially health care cost control; Social Security and Medicare; Congress.

Professor White came to Case Western Reserve in 2000 and became department chair in 2003. He previously was associate professor of health systems management in the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University, and before that was first research associate and then senior fellow in the Governmental Studies Program of the Brookings Institution. He received his A.B. in political science from the University of Chicago and his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Teaching and Programming

Professor White’s recent courses include The U.S. Political System; Health Care Politics and Policy in the U.S.; and Interest Groups in the Policy Process. He has also taught The Public Policy Process; Legislative Politics; Bureaucratic Politics in the U.S.; and Politics, Policy and Tobacco. In fall of 2013 he will pilot a new course, Politics: Participation and Power.

As director of the Center for Policy Studies, Professor White convenes the Friday Public Affairs lunch discussions, which meet 28 times per year with speakers leading discussion of a very wide range of issues: The CPS also host several special events each year, on topics ranging from presidential elections, to the parallels or lack thereof between U.S. involvements in Iraq and Vietnam, to the teaching of “intelligent design” theory in Ohio. Podcasts and transcripts of many of these programs are available at


Dr. White is the author of three books, coeditor of two books, and has published over five dozen articles and book chapters. His work can be divided, roughly, into five related categories, with examples of publication below. Some of the articles are available at

Budget politics and policy within the United States

The Deficit and the Public Interest: The Search for Responsible Budgeting in the 1980s, with Aaron Wildavsky. (Berkeley and New York: The University of California Press and The Russell Sage Foundation, 1991)

“The President, Congress, and the Battle over the Budget.” Chapter 9 in James A. Thurber ed., Rivals for Power: Presidential-Congressional Relations. (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2013.)

“Playing the Wrong PART: The Program Assessment Rating Tool and the Functions of the President’s Budget.” Public Administration Review 72(1) January, 2012.

Comparisons of Health Care Policies Across Advanced Industrial Democracies

Competing Solutions: American Health Care Proposals and International Experience. (Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 1995)

“The 2010 U.S. Health Care Reform: Approaching and Avoiding How Other Countries Finance Health Care.” Health Economics, Policy and Law 8(3) July, 2013.

“National Case Studies and Cross-National Learning: U.S. Health Care, 1993-2006.” Journal of Comparative Policly Analysis 12(1/2) 2010.

Politics of Health Care Reform in the United States

“Prices, Volume, and the Perverse Effects of the Variations Crusade.” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 36(4) 2011.

“Muddling Through the Muddled Middle.” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 36(3) 2011.

“My Health Policy Nightmare.” Health Matrix 21(2) 2010.

“Three Meanings of Capacity: Why the Federal Government is Most Likely to Lead on Health Insurance Access issues.”Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 28(2-3) 2003.

Control of Health Care Costs

“Cost Control After the ACA” Forthcoming in Public Administration Review.

“Cost of Healthcare in Western Countries.” In David A. Warrell, Timothy M. Cox, and John D. Firth eds., Oxford Textbook of Medicine, Vol. 1 (2010).

“Markets and Medical Care: The United States, 1993-2005.” The Milbank Quarterly 85(3) 2007.

“Targets and Systems of Health Care Cost Control.” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 24(4) 1999.

Social Security and Medicare

False Alarm: Why the Greatest Threat to Social Security and Medicare is the Campaign to “Save” Them. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003).

“Medicare and the Federal Budget: Misdiagnosed Problems, Inadequate Solutions.” With Theodore R. Marmor and Jonathan Oberlander. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 30(4) 2011.

“(How) is Aging a Health Policy Problem?” Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law and Ethics 4(1) 2004.

For more information on Professor White’s research, please download his c.v. (PDF file).

Administration and Service

In addition to his service as department chair and CPS director, Dr. White has served on and as chair of the College of Arts and Sciences Committee on Appointments; has served on and as chair of the CAS Budget Committee; has been a college representative to the former University Budget Committee; and has served frequently on the College Strategic Planning Subcommittee. He is currently a member of the Council of the American Political Science Association Organized Section on Health Politics and Policy, and served from 2006-09 on the Council of the Organized Section on Public Policy.

Download / View CV

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