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:
Policy Point: Stay on Target (2020)
Research Note - Effective Treatment: Public policy prescription for a pandemic  (2020)
Policy Point: Time to Process (2020)
Research Note: Seeing the problem, but missing the point: Decile dilemmas (2019)
Research Note: The Unreserved Bank of New Zealand: Why unorthodox monetary policy needs boundaries (2019)
Policy Point: Biting education bullets (2019)
Refreshing Water: Valuing the priceless (2019)
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

Stay on Target

Policy Point: Stay on Target

The pandemic-induced recession creates a strong case for the Government to support struggling workers with targeted assistance, rather than a Universal Basic Income (UBI), according to the new policy paper Stay on Target by The New Zealand Initiative. As the Government searches for fresh and innovative ideas to prepare for the worst economic effects of shutting down the country’s commerce over four weeks, it has tentatively proposed the introduction of a universal basic income scheme. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Policy Point
27 March, 2020
Cover New

Research Note - Effective Treatment: Public policy prescription for a pandemic

Unless effective treatment for the novel coronavirus Covid-19 emerges quickly, the world faces not only misery but economic depression. New Zealand will be immune to neither. The normal economic uncertainties of a downturn will be compounded by the uncertainties of a pandemic. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Research Note
26 March, 2020
Time to process

Policy Point: Time to Process

Asking the public for submissions on pending legislation while the country is in pandemic lockdown risks making a farce of democracy and unnecessarily distracting the Government, according to a new policy paper by the New Zealand Initiative. The business of government must go on, said the Initiative’s chief economist Dr Eric Crampton, but politicians can afford to put less urgent matters aside for the time being. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Policy Point
26 March, 2020

Emergency finance

Fiscal responsibility matters. Being careful guardians of the public purse during good times provides flexibility for dealing with nightmare scenarios. One such scenario is now unfolding, so it is worth going through the basic principles that guide us through. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
20 March, 2020

The fog of war

In wartime, it’s often hard to know exactly what is going on. Good communication is critical but it’s hard for governments – or anyone else – to make good decisions in the absence of information. I have watched this Covid-19 pandemic for some time. One of the first things I did after my summer holiday in mid-January was to attempt to purchase N95 masks – but they were already sold out. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
17 March, 2020

Stay in the loop: Subscribe to updates