Joseph White

Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy
Director of Graduate Studies
Center for Policy Studies
Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences

Joe White came to Case Western Reserve University in 2000 from Tulane University, where he had been Associate Professor of Health Systems Management in the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.  Before Tulane, he 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.

Professor White has been Luxenberg Family Professor and Director of the Center for Policy Studies since he joined our faculty.  He served as Department Chair from 2003–2015.  During his 2010-11 sabbatical year Dr. White served as Visiting Professor with the Chair in the Economics and Management of Health Services at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris, and as John G. Winant Visiting Professor of American Government for Michaelmas Term at the University of Oxford. During his Spring, 2018 sabbatical he was a Visiting Professor at the Institut d’Études Politiques in Lyon, France and a Visiting Scholar with the Erasmus School of Health Policy and Management in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Teaching Information

Teaching Interests

Professor White’s political science teaching includes courses on The U.S. Political System, Health Policy and Politics in the U.S., The American Presidency, Making Public Policy, Interest Groups in the Policy Process, and Doing Government Work: Public Administration in the U.S.  He also teaches a SAGES First Seminar on The Tobacco Wars. 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 wide range of issues. The CPS also organizes several special events each year.

Office Hours

MW 10:00-11:30am

Research Information

Research Interests

  • Federal budgeting policy and politics
  • Health care policy and politics both in the United States and other rich democracies, with special focus on cost control issues
  • Social Security and Medicare
  • Congress

Research Projects

Dr. White is the author of three books, coedited two, and has published at last count eighty articles and book chapters, plus numerous book reviews and non-academic commentaries.  His work can be divided, roughly, into five related categories: budget politics and policy within the United States, comparisons of health care policies across advanced industrial democracies, the politics of health care reform in the United States, health care cost control, and Social Security and Medicare policy and politics.  An example of how the topics interrelate is his recent work on whether it makes sense to try to budget many decades into the future, which is a major theme in claims about a future “crisis” in finance of Social Security and Medicare. View a full list of his work and papers.

Most recently he has been working on a book about the federal budget process and trying to understand what should be done about Electronic Medical Records.  He testified to the U.S. Congress Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform in May of 2018.

Additional Information

Born in Brookline, MA, Joe lives in Shaker Heights with his wife, Sydelle Zinn.  Their daughter, Abby, graduated from college in May of 2019 and future residence is uncertain, but not likely to be Cleveland.  Sydelle and Joe hope for visits. After 19 years in Cleveland, Joe now joins Abby in rooting for local sports teams, though if the Red Sox are involved that remains difficult.  He figures if the Tribe ever wins a world series, he can go back to prioritizing the Sox.

Download / View CV

Service and Honors

In addition to his university 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, Strategic Planning Steering Committee, and Budget Subcommittee.  He has served on the Councils of the American Political Science Association Organized Section on Health Politics and Policy, and the APSA Organized Section on Public Policy. He currently edits the “Beneath the Surface” section of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law.  In 2014, Dr. White received the Aaron Wildavsky Award for Lifetime Scholarly Achievement from the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management.