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

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
Immigration arrivals thumbnail

Arguing immigration

This week, members of the Law and Economics Association were treated to dinner and a show. Or something close to it. After the Association’s AGM, I argued with Michael Reddell, New Zealand’s most articulate immigration critic. But we seemed to broadly agree on a few things. First, the current surge in permanent and long-term arrivals overstates the longer-term increase. Many now arriving will depart in a few years, bringing an outbound surge. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
30 June, 2017
data electronics

Making all-you-can-eat data tastier

In Damon Knight’s classic science-fiction short story, helpful aliens provide Earth with unlimited energy and plenty of food. The aliens even have a manual titled, “How to Serve Man.” It all seems too good to be true – until a translator works out the book’s first paragraph and sees it is not your traditional alien butler’s training guide. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
The National Business Review
23 June, 2017
economy newspaper1

Policy-based elections

Last week brought some hope that this year’s election would have a stronger policy focus. The OECD released its report on the state of the New Zealand, and the moves necessary to improve outcomes in education, productivity and economic growth. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
23 June, 2017
Law

Police protection

Tenacity is normally a virtue. But when that tenacity is in pursuit of the kind of thing that has gotten you in trouble before, it is just a bit less virtuous. The tenacious toddler’s pursuit of a forbidden cookie is cute at first, but it gets annoying pretty quickly.Wellington’s police are nothing if not tenacious on the alcohol front. But it seems they just cannot cop a break.Back in March, the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority effectively told the police... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
16 June, 2017
Housing1

Government needs to take steps to encourage councils to get new housing built

The accommodation supplement is supposed to make housing more affordable for low income tenants. But whether it can really do that job depends a lot on market conditions. And, right now, it does not seem that likely that the government’s increase in the accommodation supplement will really do much to help tenants.   Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Interest.co.nz
12 June, 2017
credit card

Let prices do the job

You do not need prices in a land of plenty. Prices are a wonderful way of coordinating competing demands on scarce resources. They emerge, along with property rights, when scarcity starts to matter. And scarcity is starting to matter for a lot of the things that tourists like in New Zealand. Prior to European colonisation, Canadian beaver and other furred animals were so abundant relative to local demand that there was no need to use property rights to maintain trapping grounds. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
9 June, 2017
Key in door housing

Waiting for affordable housing

If the Government wants its announced increase to the Accommodation Supplement to do any good, it had better have some policies ready to help increase housing supply. Otherwise, landlords are likely to be the main beneficiaries. At least in Auckland.Figuring out who really pays a tax, or benefits from a subsidy, is always trickier than just looking to see who writes or receives the cheque. It depends instead on the specifics of the market.In places where it is easy to... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
2 June, 2017
Parliament

NZ shows what you can do when you're running budget surpluses

Australia makes me happy. It gives me a sense of perspective. Whenever I'm disappointed by what New Zealand's National-led coalition has failed to do, I can just look across the ditch and feel a lot better. It is a bit like having that one real underachiever in the extended family – you can always feel a bit better about yourself after Christmas. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
The Australian Financial Review
28 May, 2017

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