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: Open for minds: export education and recovery (2020)
Policy Point: Stay on Target
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


Fix those data pipes first

Making sense of Wellington Council’s prioritisation of a new convention centre, while the city’s wastewater pipes crumble and streams fill with sewage, is a bit tough. It isn’t how you’d run a household: the new kitchen might take a back seat if the rest of the plumbing is wrecked – and especially if your partner had just been made redundant. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
11 May, 2020
Policy Point Reopening universities for foreign students 1

Policy Point: Open for minds: export education and recovery

New Zealand’s universities have, at least since the mid-2000s, relied on foreign students for substantial parts of their income. Though the extent of foreign students’ contributions is obvious to anyone working in academia, they are not well appreciated outside the tertiary sector. Worse, even though reliance on income from foreign students has been designed into the tertiary sector’s funding model since the Clark administration, the Government of today seems to have forgotten, or at best underappreciated its importance. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Policy Point
1 May, 2020
media online

Troubling news

When the facts of the world change, business models must change to keep up. Legislating the world back to the way it was rarely turns out well, and cobbling together regulatory and tax measures to return the media funding environment to the 1980s seems like a mistake. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
29 April, 2020
plastic bags

Better living through plastics

Time flies. Was it only a year ago that New Zealand’s ban on disposable plastic bags at the supermarket came in? It’s hard to tell anymore. January seemed to last about a week, February was about two months long and April… well, April’s been longer than usual and is far from over. Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
17 April, 2020

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