Teaching Links

Econ 100: Problems and Policies

Econ 202: Principles of Microeconomics

Econ 379: Wine Economics

Econ 415: Introduction to Econometrics

Econ 436: Health Economics

Econ 515: Econometrics Theory and Applications

Econ 479: Special Topics, Financial Economics

Econ 479: Special Topics, Economics of the Wine Industry

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Wine Economics Book

Book Description

Table of Contents and Chapter Abstracts

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Economic Web Resources

Casenotes Newsletter Interview

Eastern Magazine Interview

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Wine Tasting

Contact Information

James Thornton



James Thornton is Professor of Economics at Eastern Michigan University.  He received a B.A. and M.A. from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1978 and 1980.  After receiving his M.A.,  he worked as an Auto Industry Economist in the Office of Automotive Fuel Economy Standards at the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington D.C. from 1980 to 1981, and an Instructor of Economics at Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana, from 1981 to 1987.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon and joined the Eastern Michigan University faculty in 1991.  Professor Thornton was a Visiting Professor in the School of Health Administration and Policy at Arizona State University from 1997 to 1998. He also served as Director of Graduate Programs in Economics at Eastern Michigan University from 1999 to 2005.


Professor Thornton has primary research interests in health economics, wine economics, and the application of econometric methods to interdisciplinary research. His current and past research includes studies on health outcomes, health insurance, pharmaceutical effectiveness, physician specialty choice, medical malpractice, physician labor supply, and medical practice efficiency. He has been involved in interdisciplinary research in the areas of pharmacology, medical psychology, psychobiology, and cognitive psychology. His research has been published in Health Economics, Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Journal of Human Resources, Economics Letters, Applied Economics, Clinical Researcher, Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, Psychopharmacology, Behaviour Research Therapy, as well as other journals.  His book, American Wine Economics: An Exploration of the U.S. Wine Industry (University of California Press), describes the economic organization of the U.S. wine industry and uses economic analysis to explain how wine firms, consumers, distributors, retailers, and legislators interact and influence the wine market.


Professor Thornton currently teaches undergraduate and graduate level classes in health economics and econometrics, as well as principles of microeconomics. He has taught a graduate class in microeconomic theory, and undergraduate classes in industrial organization, financial economics, international economics, economics of the stock market, money and banking, and contemporary economic issues. He also teaches a class on wine economics.

"Anyone can know, the point is to understand."
-- Albert Einstein

"Ninety percent of life is just showing up."
-- Woody Allen