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

Email: eric.crampton@nzinitiative.org.nz

Recent Work

Economist 3

Cat posters and wellbeing budgets

There was a line of ’80s and ’90s motivational posters, often involving pictures of cats, with quips that might help improve spirits around the workplace. One of those, from memory, read something like, “You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but it helps!” Other variants read, “You don’t have to be crazy to work here; we will train you.”None of them would pass modern sensitivity standards, and they were never really motivational or funny in the first place. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
19 July, 2019
Traffic5

The importance of pricing

Maybe things would be different if somebody had 'invented' prices. We tend not to understand and appreciate institutions, like prices, that emerge spontaneously through human interaction rather than are the product of human design. Because we do not appreciate how they work, it is too easy to miss how they can improve things in areas where they haven’t traditionally been used. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Newsroom
16 July, 2019
Fire

Antonio Hall fire puts heritage buildings back in the spotlight

Heritage buildings are in the spotlight after a devastating fire at Christchurch's 110-year-old Antonio Hall. The owners had not done any maintenance to it for more than 20 years and this led to calls for tougher rules for owners of heritage properties to take more care of their buildings. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Heather-du-Plessis-Allan Drive - Newstalk ZB
15 July, 2019
wish flower

The curse of getting what you wish for

Parables, biblical or otherwise, are excellent instruction. They warn of the dangers of getting what you wish for. Local Government New Zealand might wish to take heed.Midas had regrets.The 1001 Arabian Nights tells of the blind beggar of Baghdad. In that story, a dervish had a magic cream that, if anointed on one eye, would reveal hidden treasures – but would give only blindness if applied to both eyes. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
12 July, 2019
Economic growth3

Core learning

Joel Hernandez and I have been lucky to be spending the past few days at the 60th Annual Conference of the New Zealand Association of Economists. The meetings are always a great way of keeping abreast of what other economists around the traps are working on. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
5 July, 2019
House4

From Kiwibuild to Kiwis Building

At its heart, Kiwibuild was a promise to end the housing crisis. The set of reforms Minister Twyford is overseeing can fulfil that promise, if he has the chance to see them through.The housing crisis has nothing to do with government failing to build enough homes. It stems instead from a nasty mess of perverse incentives facing growing councils, debt limits, infrastructure financing problems, and difficulty in revising district plans under RMA processes – as a starting point.If the prior... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
14 June, 2019
Frustration

The rot at treasury started years ago

If the Canterbury earthquakes taught us anything, it’s that the immediate response to a disaster is a very different thing from the rebuilding that has to follow.Disaster response is about triage, the good-enough, and avoiding substantial further harm. The rebuild is different. It takes a fair bit of thought about what the place should look like, and a long-term strategy to get there. In the best case, the long-term vision has always been in place and all that needs to... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
The Spinoff
7 June, 2019

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