Final Eric Crampton

Dr Eric Crampton

Chief Economist

Dr Eric Crampton is the Chief Economist at The New Zealand Initiative and co-author of The Case for Economic Growth. Dr Crampton served as Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Economics at the Department of Economics & Finance at the University of Canterbury from November 2003 until July 2014. He is also the creator and author of the well-known blog “Offsetting Behaviour”.

Latest reports:
Score! Transforming NCEA Data (2018)
Recipe for disaster: Building policy on shaky ground (2018)
Analog Regulation, Digital World (2017)
The Outside of the Asylum: A New Zealander’s guide to the world out there (2017)
Decade of Debt: The Cost of Interest-free Student Loans (2016)
Deadly Heritage (2016)
In the Zone: Creating a Toolbox for Regional Prosperity (2015)
The Case for Economic Growth (2015)

Phone: +64 4 499 0790


Recent Work

Budget day2

What does the minimum wage increase mean for the economy?

New Zealand workers on the minimum wage are set for a significant pay rise.The Government has announced it will increase the minimum wage to $17.70 an hour on April 1, with further increases to take it to $20 by 2021.Eric Crampton discusses on Mike Hosking Breakfast what the minimum wage increase means for our economy. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Newstalk ZB - Mike Hosking Breakfast
20 December, 2018

Hard spirits

It was during the discussions of measuring spiritual capital that the ghost of Sir John James Cowperthwaite hovered near. The shade whispered in my ear, “When I was Financial Secretary of Hong Kong, I refused to collect economic statistics for London. Why? For fear that I might be forced to do something about them.” Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
11 December, 2018

Letting us help

Community sponsorship helps Canada accept far more refugees than the government’s quota could accommodate on its own. And it looks promising for New Zealand as well. But scaling the programme to its full potential may require sponsoring communities to pick up a greater share of the cost.During the 2015–16 Syrian refugee crisis, Kiwis wanting to help were stymied by restrictions on the number of refugees allowed into the country. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
7 December, 2018
Lord of the Rings

The war of Gondorean aggression

Desperate to turn away from trivial controversies here in New Zealand about Santa’s true gender, I looked to the British press and found The Times and The Telegraph reporting on claims of racism in J.R.R. Tolkien’s depiction of orcs in The Lord of the Rings. The case is stronger than it might first appear. For that stronger case, we must turn to the truly excellent work of historical fictional reconstruction undertaken by Kirill Yeskov. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
30 November, 2018
Water tap

Surviving the conversation

Unless we are good friends, my picking the restaurant when you are paying the bill can be a recipe for trouble. Central and local government are not always the best of friends. And when central government sets the water quality standards, local government foots the bill. In places with high water-treatment costs, residents might reasonably prefer the occasional boil water notice to hefty rates hikes. Central standards then amount to an unfunded mandate on local councils. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
23 November, 2018

Better horses

Winston Peters’ tax credit for pretty horses fights the wrong battle when it comes to improving New Zealand’s bloodstock. New Zealand has no obvious problem with ugly horses. Maybe farmers keep the ugly horses hidden so townies out for a drive don’t see them, but it seems unlikely. I have yet to see an ugly horse here. They’re all beautiful in their own way. But we do seem to have, dare I say it, cowardly horses. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
9 November, 2018

Setting the question

Supporting a regulated market for cannabis hardly requires you to think cannabis is a good thing. It rather recognises that illegal markets are risky with their own harms, and that American states that have liberalised have generally seen good outcomes. Regulated legal markets bring the protection of the Fair Trading Act and the Consumer Guarantees Act. Criminal profits transform into government excise earnings. Labour’s agreement with the Greens promised a referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis at or... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
2 November, 2018

Top Ten: All things freshwater

The government’s planning changes to freshwater management. Earlier this month, the government released consultation documents outlining its intended approach to improving freshwater quality. The government wishes to improve water quality, to provide better management regimes with a stronger role for local iwi, and to set water allocation regimes that recognise both the interests of existing users and of potential new users. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
26 October, 2018

Correcting corrective taxes

The Tax Working Group’s high-level advice is absolutely correct: The government should simplify the alcohol excise structure, put tobacco excise increases on hold, and not proceed with any sugar taxes until it figures out what it is trying to achieve. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
The National Business Review
26 October, 2018

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