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:
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

Email: eric.crampton@nzinitiative.org.nz

Recent Work

data electronics

Leave streaming content out of censorship regime

The season for gathering the family around the television for uplifting Christmas movies is rapidly approaching. But be a little careful out there. The government’s proposed digital convergence legislation remains on hold, and so things are a little messy.Suppose that you, like me, wanted to re-watch the greatest Christmas movie ever made, Die Hard. In that late ‘80s action thriller, Bruce Willis’s John McClane faces down what appears to be a Christmastime terrorist threat from German anarchists, but is really... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
The National Business Review
17 December, 2017
wineglass

Kiwis optimistic about 2018

A new survey shows New Zealanders are very optimistic about 2018. The Roy Morgan survey shows 53% of New Zealanders think it will be better than 2017 and that compares with Australia where just 31% think next year will be be an improvement on this one. The survey was conducted by text mid November - the first time it's been done since 2009, when 73% of people were more optimistic about the year following. Dr Eric Crampton discusses the findings.  Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Sunday Morning Radio New Zealand
26 November, 2017
constitution

Finding level

Careful economics and careful carpentry have one thing in common. Building things level is not easy when the floor is a bit crooked. We need to be a bit careful about retailer demands for level playing fields around tax on imports. As more of us buy from overseas, New Zealand retailers are quick to point to uneven playing fields favouring foreign suppliers. Under the de minimis threshold, imported goods are not taxed unless the amount collected would exceed $60. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
24 November, 2017
data electronics

Analog Regulation, Digital World

New Zealand has always had to run a little faster than everyone else just to keep up.Too small to rely on its own internal markets, and too distant to profit from tight integration with larger neighbours, New Zealand has had to compete by being nimble. And so it has developed some of the world’s best policy settings.New Zealand is consistently at or near the top of the rankings for overall economic freedom and ease of doing business.But where the internet’s... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
The National Business Review
10 November, 2017
technology

Analog Regulation, Digital World

Which moves faster: technology, or the regulation that tries to keep up with it? New Zealand’s ability to adapt to new technology depends on whether our regulations can keep pace. We have always faced the twin tyrannies of size and distance. We are small and remote.  If our rules hold back adoption of new technology, we can add a third tyranny to the list: being out of date. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
10 November, 2017
DigitalRegs cover

Analog Regulation, Digital World

The Challenge. Which moves faster: technology, or the regulation that tries to keep up with it? It is common knowledge that the pace of technological change is always increasing. But our country’s ability to adapt to new technology depends on whether our regulations can keep pace. If they cannot, then we will get left behind.New Zealand has always faced the twin tyrannies of size and distance. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
James Ting-Edwards
9 November, 2017
Ladder1

Building on the success of others

National’s supporters on the right could have been forgiven for expecting a lot after the 2008 election. After three terms of Helen Clark’s Labour government, and National’s opposition to Labour’s policies, they had a right to.But John Key built three successive majority coalitions by disappointing his supporters on the right. Rather than abolish Working for Families, National made only small tweaks to the programme it had derided in opposition as welfare for the wealthy. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
The National Business Review
27 October, 2017
Cash

"Increasing minimum wage will cost jobs"

The new government has suggested a $20 minimum wage in 2021, is the same as a $17.50 minimum wage today. Eric Crampton tells Mike Hosking there are already good numbers from MBIE around the effects of minimum wage increases. He says if today's minimum wage was $17.50, it would cost jobs and the country. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Mike Hosking Breakfast - Newstalk ZB
25 October, 2017
visa

What does the new government mean for immigration?

The new government will follow Labour's policies with immigration, the coalition agreement with NZ First has revealed. The document made public yesterday briefly outlined how the parties together would 'ensure work visas issued reflect genuine skills shortages.' There's also a promise to take 'serious action on migrant exploitation,' but didn't mention any specific number cuts, or what visa categories such cuts would come from. Eric Crampton is part of a panel discussion about what impacts a Labour-led immigration policy will... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Radio NZ
25 October, 2017
clouds

Long live the interregnum

If no person’s life, liberty or property are safe while Parliament is in session, what’s the rush to have a new government? As I write this column, no coalition has been struck. Journalists stake out Parliament’s parking garage trying to divine the will of Winston from cryptic hints he might there provide. And if you took the newspaper headlines too seriously, you might think that New Zealand would sink under the ocean if coalitions weren’t formed by whatever date Winston... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
20 October, 2017
school books

A Nobel nudge

When mathematician Stanislaw Ulam challenged Paul Samuelson to point to anything in economics that was both universally true and non-obvious, Samuelson pointed to David Ricardo’s principle of comparative advantage: Even the least productive countries still benefit from trade.Richard Thaler’s Nobel Prize is richly deserved for several substantive contributions in behavioural economics. His work in the early 1980s on consumer choice and the economics of self-control laid some of the foundations for the behavioural economics that was to come in the... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
The National Business Review
13 October, 2017
Wellington city

Wellington's bid to become a Special Economic Zone

Alison Mau interviews Eric Crampton on RadioLIVE about Wellington City Council's request for expanded powers for the city. Whether through a City Accord modelled on Greater Manchester’s City Deal, or through a Special Economic Zone. Eric refers in his interview to our 2015 report In The Zone: Creating a Toolbox for Regional Prosperity in which we proposed Special Economic Zones as a way of devolving power to local authorities prepared to take on greater responsibility. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
RadioLIVE
12 October, 2017

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