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|Born||7 June 1960|
|Field||Economic history, political economy, prohibitionism, history of economic thought|
|Influences||Frederic Bastiat, Richard Cantillon, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Lew Rockwell|
Mark Thornton is an American economist of the Austrian School. Thornton has been described by the Advocates for Self-Government as "one of America's experts on the economics of illegal drugs." Thornton has written on that topic, as well as on the economics of the American Civil War, economic bubbles, public finance and on topics that include the "Iron Law of Prohibition", the "Skyscraper Index", and the 18th-century Irish-French economist Richard Cantillon. He is a Senior Fellow with the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
Education and academic career
Thornton received his B.S. from St. Bonaventure University (1982), and his Ph.D. from Auburn University (1989). Thornton taught economics at Auburn University, where he was the founding faculty advisor for the Auburn University Libertarians. He was formerly a faculty member of Columbus State University, and is now a Senior Fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He is Book Review Editor for its publication, The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics.
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Libertarian organizations, including the Independent Institute, the Cato Institute, and the Mises Institute, have published Thornton's writings on drug and alcohol prohibition. Thornton contributed a chapter to Jefferson Fish's book How to Legalize Drugs. He has been interviewed on the topic of prohibition by Agence France-Presse.
Thornton's first book, The Economics of Prohibition, was praised by Mises Institute vice-president Murray Rothbard, who said: "Thornton's book... arrives to fill an enormous gap, and it does so splendidly...This is an excellent work making an important contribution to scholarship as well as to the public policy debate." Reviewer David R. Henderson of the Hoover Institution wrote, "Thornton’s book contains much valuable information on prohibition and cites many sources. But the economically literate book on prohibition that makes a case for legalization has yet to be written."
Thornton ran for U.S. Congress in 1984. Thornton has been the vice chairman and chairman of the Libertarian Party of Alabama. In 1988, he became the first Libertarian Party office-holder in Alabama when he was elected Constable. He was the Libertarian Party's Candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1996. He was also endorsed by the Reform Party, and came in third of four candidates. In 1997 he became the Assistant Superintendent of Banking and an economic analyst for Alabama Governor, Fob James.
- The Economics of Prohibition. Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 1991. (ISBN 0-87480-379-9)
- Tariffs, Blockades, and Inflation: The Economics of the Civil War (with Robert B. Ekelund, Jr). Delaware: Scholarly Resource Books, 2004. (ISBN 0-8420-2961-3)
- The Quotable Mises (editor). Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2005. (ISBN 0-945466-45-5)
- The Bastiat Collection (editor). Volume 1 and Volume 2. Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2007. (ISBN 978-1-933550-07-7)
- An Essay on Economic Theory: An English translation of Richard Cantillon’s Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en Général (editor; Chantal Saucier, translator) Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2010. (ISBN 978-1-61016-001-8)
- DiLorenzo, Thomas (2011-02-11) My Associations with Liars, Bigots, and Murderers, LewRockwell.com
- Blumenthal, Robin Goldwyn; Strauss, Lawrence C. (November 16, 2013). "The Skyscraper Index: Edifice Complex". Barron's. "The U.S. has a new tallest building—One World Trade Center in New York—and that has conjured up some novel reading of economic tea leaves."
- "Mark Thornton." Mises Institute. mises.org
- "Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics." Mises Institute. mises.org.
- Thornton, Mark. "Prohibition versus Legalization: Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Drug Policy?" Independent Institute. The Independent Review. Winter 2007. 
- Thornton, Mark. "Alcohol Prohibition Was a Failure." Policy Analysis no. 157. Cato Institute. 17 July 1991. 
- Thornton, M. (1998). "Perfect Drug Legalization". In J. M. Fish (ed.), How to Legalize Drugs (pp. 638–660). Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson. ISBN 978-0765701510
- "US drinks to 75 years since end of Prohibition." Agence France-Presse. Hosted by Google. 4 December 2008. 
- Henderson, David. "Review of Economics of Prohibition". Retrieved 20 December 2013.
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