Alan Mathios
Alan Mathios
Policy Analysis and Management
Cornell Institute for Public Affairs

2226 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall



Alan Mathios is a professor in Policy Analysis and Management and a Commissioner for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) .  He currently serves on the Executive Commitee and Corporate Secretary of MSCHE.  He served as Dean of the College of Human Ecology from 2007-2018.  Prior to serving as dean he served as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Education for the College of Human Ecology.  He is a member of the Department of Policy Analysis and Management and has served as Associate Chair and Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department. He is co-editor of the Journal of Consumer Policy and on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Consumer Affairs and the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing.  He came to Cornell following six years of employment at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), where he served as a staff economist in the Division of Economic Policy Analysis and was recognized with the Outstanding Scholarship Award, the Excellence in Economics Award, and the Award for Superior Service to the FTC.  A major focus of his research is on the effect of Food and Drug Administration regulatory policies on consumer and firm behavior. His research has focused on the impact of the regulation of health claims in food advertising and direct to consumer advertising of pharmaceutical products on health outcomes. His research has also focused on government tax policies and their impact on smoking onset and cessation.  His most recent research is on an examination of the effectiveness of health warning labels on cigarette packages and electronic cigarettes. His research has been funded by a variety of sources including the National Cancer Institute, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Merck Foundation Co.   He has been the recipient of a number of teaching and advising awards including the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Cornell University Kendal S. Carpenter Advising Award.  His service to the university includes co-chairing the decennial accreditation committee that prepared the Cornell University self-study followed by the Periodic Review Report for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

The major focus of his research is on the effect of government regulation of information on consumer welfare. Research includes analysis of Food and Drug Administration policies governing advertising of health information and its impact on consumer health outcomes.  Specifically, research has focused on the impact of private sector advertising of cigarettes, private and public sector advertising of smoking cessation products, private sector promotions of pharmaceutical products on consumer health choices.  His most recent research is focused on the evaluation of health warning labels on electronic cigarettes (which is supported with an NIH R01).   This work follows the conclusion of a 5 year R01   which included an evaluation of FDA proposed graphic warning lables that would appear on cigarette packages on smoking onset and quit behavior among disadvantaged populations. Other work is focused on the impact of cereal advertising, fast-food advertising, and other health related advertising on health outcomes.

Selecteed Publications from 2016 - Present


Niederdeppe, J., Avery, R., Kellogg, M. & Mathios, A., “Mixed Messages, Mixed Outcomes: Exposure to Direct-to-Consumer Advertising for Statin Drugs is Associated with More Frequent Visits to Fast Food Restaurants and Exercise,” Health Communication, 2016.

Kenkel, D., Mathios, A., and Wang, H., “Menthol Cigarette Advertising and Cigarette Demand,” American Journal of Health Economics, 2017

Skurka, C., Kemp, D., Thrasher, JF. Byrne, S., Safi, A., Avery, R., Dorf, M., Mathios, A., Scolere, L., Niederdeppe, J,. “Effects of 30% and 50% Cigarette Pack Graphic Warning Labels on Visual Attention, Negative Affect, Quit Attentions, and Smoking Susceptibility among Disadvantaged Populations in the United States,” Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 2017.

Mathios, A., Micklitz, H., Reisch, L., Thogersen, J., Twigg-Flesner, C., “Celebration of 40 Years of the Journal of Consumer Policy and What the Next 40 Might Look Like,” Journal of Consumer Policy, 40(3), 235-244, 2017.

Skurka, C., Byrne, S., Davydova, J., Kemp, D., Greiner Safi, A., Avery, R., Dorf, M., Mathios, A., & Niederdeppe, J., “Testing competing explanations for graphic warning label effects among adult smokers and non-smoking youth,” Social Science & Medicine, 211, 294-303, 2018.

Niederdeppe, J. Kemp, D., Jesch, E., Scolere, L., Greiner Safi, A., Porticella, N. A., Avery, R., Dorf, M., Mathios, A., & Byrne, S., “Using warning labels to counter effects of social cues and brand imagery in cigarette advertising,” Health Education Research, 34(1), 38-49, 2018.

Skurka, C., Kalaii, M., Dorf, M., Kemp, D., Greiner Safi, A., Byrne, S., Mathios, A., Avery, R., Niederdeppe, J., “Independent or Synergistic? Effects of varying size and using pictorial images in tobacco health warning labels,” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 198 (1), 87-94, 2019.

Byrne, S., Greiner Safi, A., Kemp, D., Skurka, C., Davydova, J., Scolere, L., Mathios, A., Avery, R., Dorf, M., Steinhardt, J., Niederdeppe, J., “Effects of Varying Color, Imagery, and Text of Cigarette Package Warning Labels among Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Middle School Youth and Adult Smokers,” Health Communication, 34(3), 306-316, 2019.

Katz, S.J., Byrne, S., Mathios, A.D., Avery, R.J., Dorf, M.C., Safi, A.G., & Niederdeppe, J. (Forthcoming) “Testing the Effects of Certain Versus Hypothetical Language in Health Risk Messages,” Communication Monographs, 2019.

Mathios' work has relevance for outreach in the area of federal regulation of advertising policy.  His work directly addresses policy issues and is highly cited by researchers, policy makers at several government agencies and various think tank and advocacy groups.  In the past he has served as a consultant to the Food and Drug Administration and  to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences on Food Marketing and Obesity.  His work has been featured on National Public Radio and in newspapers throughout the country. He, in collaboration with others, submitted formal comments to the FDA on matters related to the regulation of menthol in cigarettes.  He also has written and published a chapter for a book focusing on leadership in the academy.  As Dean he was the public spokesperson for the College of Human Ecology.  In this capacity he advanced the public's knowledge of the work and accomplishments of the faculty, students, alumni and staff of the College.  During summer of 2019 he worked collobaratively with the Engaged Cornell Team on developing new stratetic directions for Cornell's Engaged Cornell project.  He has also given interviews to the press about vaping and how government might regulate vaping products.

Alan Mathios serves as the North American Editor of the Journal of Consumer Policy and is on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Consumer Affairs and the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing. He has served as the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on several NIH grants focused on tobacco related activity and advertising/labeling.  Working with colleagues across several colleges at Cornell he is the co-investigator on a NIH R01 focused on vaping and e-cigarettes.   He is currently serving his second three year term as a Commissioner for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.  He was elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the Commission for the second year in a row and in 2020 will serve as the Corporate Secretary.

My teaching philsophy is to combine the theory of microeconomics with real world applied pratice so to movitate students to both understand and use economics to solve complex social issues facing government, the pubilc and private sectors.  I hope to always create a diverse and inclusive learning environment and have taken an on-line course offered by the Center for Teaching and Learning so to develop strategies for accomplishing this. 

Mathios has taught a number of courses that provide students with an understanding of economic theory, how economics interacts with legal and regulatory systems and how policies impact on overall welfare.  These courses include:

  • PAM 2000 (Intermediate Microeconomic Theory)
  • PAM 3410 (The Economics of Consumer Protection and the Law)
  • PAM 4610 (Public Policy and Marketing)
  • PAM 6400 (Information, Regulation and Consumer Policy)
  • PADM 5210 (Intermediate Microeconomics for Public Affairs)

State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York
B.A., Economics/Psychology, May 1980
Honors: Cum Laude

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Ph.D in Economics, December 1985

In am currently serving on the Steering Committeee for Cornell's self study and reaccredtation process.  Also serving on the admissions committee for CIPA.    


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