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


Freshwater progress

Normal politics too quickly leads to despair about democracy and humanity. If you are tired of reality-TV political shenanigans, turn off the Twitter feed and turn an eye to the government’s promising work on freshwater management. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
19 October, 2018
Canadian Passport

Schrödinger’s Canadians

Erwin Schrödinger never actually put cats into boxes that might or might not kill them, depending on a radioactive isotope’s random decay. It was only a thought experiment designed to show that the unseen cat could simultaneously be considered both dead and alive, until the box was opened. But what should we make of the interesting box the Canadian government has built for the children of Canadians living abroad? Whether inspired by Kafka, Joseph Heller, or Erwin Schrödinger, Canada’s bureaucracy... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
5 October, 2018

Celebrating Sisyphean Labours

Today we offer thanks and praise to those undertaking the most thankless of bureaucratic tasks, forever rolling good policy advice uphill only to watch it roll back down again, seemingly ignored. The country would be far worse in the absence of their labours. This week, MBIE released its advice about the coming ban on new offshore petroleum exploration permits. The government did not make it easy for MBIE to do the work. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
28 September, 2018
Acid rain

The Acid Test

Nutrient load is too high in too many New Zealand lakes and rivers. Cleaning up the mess featured prominently in last year’s election. Getting the job done requires looking at what works. On that front, New Zealand has learned from America’s abolition of acid rain. During the 1980s, sulphur dioxide emissions from American electricity generation plants made rain acidic, with damage to lakes building up over time. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
14 September, 2018

Uncertainty over sugar tax report details

A sugar tax would generate millions in revenue and save lives, the Prime Minister has been told.The briefing from the Ministry of Health's chief science advisor Dr John Potter was given at Jacinda Ardern's request.Eric Crampton tells Mike Hosking there a few important details missing in the report."It's hard to tell to tell how much of this is new work and how much of it was from prior studies." Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Newstalk ZB - Mike Hosking Breakfast
13 September, 2018

Can’t get no satisfaction

Every two years, Treasury surveys stakeholders about Treasury’s performance. The 2015 survey was up on Treasury’s website about two months after it was completed. The 2017 survey was completed last August but still had not shown up on Treasury’s website a year later.I had a pretty good idea why they were sitting on it. The parts of the report I had had the chance to see were not laudatory.This week, Treasury responded to my OIA request for a copy of... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
7 September, 2018

The market is a harsh mistress – for competitors

It was the year 2019 and Kiwis had had enough. It was time for legislation to finally protect the interests of those of us stuck in the car leasing market. It wasn’t always this bad. The market used to be able to keep up with demand for cars. Mostly. Sure, the cars available overseas were better and cheaper. Some overseas families even had more than one of them! Normal people couldn’t really get those cars here because of import controls. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
31 August, 2018

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