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

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Look up!

While Budget days bring focus to the Government’s spending priorities, there is no budget day for regulation. Regulation never gets the same attention as spending, but it is at least as important. The Public Finance Act constrains government against doing particularly silly things in the budget, but it remains too easy to get regulation horribly wrong. Yesterday’s Budget coincided with the culmination of one notable bit of regulatory success, to which we will return. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
26 May, 2017
Building house

Horses for courses

When economist Paul Samuelson was challenged to come up with an economic principle that was both true and non-obvious, he cited comparative advantage.That two people, or countries, can be made better off by trading, even if one of them is better at producing everything that they might trade, is hardly intuitive.President Donald Trump gets it wrong on a near daily basis when he frames trade as being about winners and losers.But there is another important true and non-obvious lesson of... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
The National Business Review
19 May, 2017
EarthquakeBuilding1

Asset sales and fiscal trevails

Infrastructure financing can be tough for fast-growing councils hitting up against their debt limits. When interest payments, as a fraction of expenditures, are up against the cap, new borrowing for infrastructure has to quickly provide a return that offsets the interest costs. Auckland’s inability to lay out infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing city largely come down to problems with financing and those interest limits. Council asset sales, and central government assistance, are both worth considering. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights newsletter
19 May, 2017
economy newspaper1

Competition matters

The Commerce Commission is nothing if not clever. While it kept everyone busy watching for its rulings on media mergers, it quietly cornered the market on competition policy conferences.I wonder whether it’s time to break things up a little.The Commission’s 2017 Competition Matters conference has a stellar line-up – and a price that more than matches it.The Early Bird price for the two-day conference is $1175, with a $1295 fee for later registrations. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
12 May, 2017
soda

Risky impressions and judicial euphemisms

I may risk creating the impression that I enjoy judicial euphemisms. For the past few years, police have been getting stroppy about alcohol licences. This was most obvious when Parliament had to legislate around police obstructionism to allow bars to stay open to screen the Rugby World Cup in 2015.Venues can apply for special licences to stay open for things like late-night rugby matches. It was a big part of the point of special licences. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
The National Business Review
5 May, 2017
Hands

Equity for home-care clients

Nobody yet knows the new pay equity regime’s administrative cost. But we have a pretty good estimate of the costs of the pay equity settlement for the aged care sector: about two billion dollars.Pay there was going to have to increase to attract more workers to serve an aging population – which perhaps discouraged the government from simply legislating around the TerraNova decision. But there is a better way to improve pay for home-based care workers, to reduce overall cost,... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
5 May, 2017
economy newspaper1

What is your labour really worth?

It is too easy to take prices for granted – in part because nobody invented them. If somebody had invented prices as a way of making sure that goods, services, capital and workers wind up, for the most part, getting to the places where they are most needed, that hero would have commemorative statues everywhere. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
The National Business Review
28 April, 2017
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When government messes up, we all bear the costs

Businesses that fail as badly as government does would go bankrupt. But when government screws up, it gets more power instead. And that makes for some depressing dynamics.New Zealand is getting a new pay equity regime.As the Regulatory Impact Statement for the new Pay Equity and Equal Pay Bill explains, pay equity concerns are most substantial where an occupation has a dominant funder - typically, government. Elsewhere, competitive forces help ensure fair pay. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
28 April, 2017
pennies

Stay on target

You may be in a spot of trouble if you ever really wind up having to kill two birds with the throw of one stone. It is a tricky shot to pull off. We shouldn’t put the Reserve Bank into that situation. Labour’s Grant Robertson proposes expanding the Reserve Bank’s mandate to include unemployment. Last year, Robertson speculated about widening the Bank’s mandate even further, to consider the exchange rate, employment, wages and ‘the overall health of the economy’. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
13 April, 2017

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