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


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

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

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