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”.

Phone: +64 4 499 0790

Email: eric.crampton@nzinitiative.org.nz

Recent Work

NZcoins

Time for clarity on Labour’s labour policy

Well, now we know what is likely to happen with taxes under a Labour government. National’s promised inflation-indexing of the lower income bracket tax thresholds will be gone, we will likely have some kind of water tax, but big changes like capital gains taxes are off the table until after a report from a Tax Working Group and the 2020 election. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Interest
18 September, 2017
Vote

It's good to be flexible

Elections are not quite the advance auctions of stolen goods that H.L. Mencken warned about. When the electorate is very lucky, elected governments break the worst promises they had to make to win election – or at least bend them. Labour’s industrial relations policy is a great example of a policy promise best left unfulfilled. Campaigning on the policy might attract a few votes. But delivering on it could be rather damaging, both for the overall economy and for the... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
15 September, 2017
Parliament

The Outside of the Asylum

We just don’t know how lucky we are to live in New Zealand. In Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, John Watson decided that the world had gone mad when he found instructions on the side of a packet of toothpicks. So Watson built a wall around his property, decorated the outside of it for the inmates, and declared his home to be the Outside of the Asylum. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
8 September, 2017
school books

Destroying the bicycle books

The thing I miss least about being in academia is the administration. I don’t mean faculty governance – it is important that academics be involved in that lest everything be taken over by the administrators. If the academics did not make sure that new programme offerings maintained academic rigour and provided something useful for the students, who would? But there was a seemingly endless supply of questionnaires, forms, and reporting – and too much of it had no obvious purpose. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
1 September, 2017
Parliament

Elections, without magic

For some pundits, elections are magical times in which pundits’ favourite policy hobby-horses transform into the election-winning platform for any party that might listen. I will recommend something a little different for Labour’s incoming leader.Jacinda Ardern has received a lot of unsolicited advice in areas ranging from Labour’s Memorandum of Understanding with the Greens to the necessity of going full-Corbyn.For those who do not believe in magic, options are a bit more constrained.Developing new policy a few weeks out from... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
4 August, 2017
Building house

The winding road to housing affordability

The announcement of a new way of funding urban infrastructure is a bit like announcing a way of clearing that first big slip on the road from Kaikoura to Blenheim. It’s an important and necessary start but it is only a start.After the slips are cleared, there will still be a lot of work ahead before traffic can start moving again. The road will need to be rebuilt in places, and slopes will need to be stabilised. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
The National Business Review
28 July, 2017
water ocean

Can the water management work of Raffensperger & Milke provide the basis for substantial change in NZ

Peter Jackson took a few liberties with Tolkien’s text for the Lord of the Rings films. Most of them, I didn’t like. But one addition I rather liked came at the start. Frodo complained that Gandalf had arrived late, and Gandalf replied that a wizard is never late – nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Interest.co.nz
25 July, 2017
NZcoins

Things I learned at the Economists’ Conference

If your main exposure to economics is hearing bank economists talk on morning radio, you might not have the most accurate picture of what economists do. Trying to guess what interest rates might do, or telling stories about the latest moves in the stock market, are not really what economics is about.To get a better picture, you could do worse than attend the New Zealand Economics Association’s annual conference. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
21 July, 2017
school books

Book Review: Smart Markets for Water Resources

The New Zealand Initiative's Chief Economist, Dr Eric Crampton, gives us his review of John Raffensperger and Mark Milke's book "Smart markets for Water Resources". Dr Crampton helped to launch this book at the University of Canterbury on Tuesday 18 July.To read more on the research the Initiative will be undertaking on water management, read our Research Plan 2017-2020. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
19 July, 2017
Parliament

For effective competition

The Commerce Commission now has more powers to investigate competition issues in any area where it thinks there might be a problem. In this week’s National Business Review, the Initiative’s Chair, Roger Partridge, argues this was a bad idea. I, for one, welcome the Commerce Commission’s new powers to encourage more competition. Why? The Prime Minister this week reminded us that government is the country’s biggest monopoly. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
7 July, 2017

Stay in the loop: Subscribe to updates