Eric Crampton

Dr Eric Crampton joined the New Zealand Initiative as Head of Research in August, 2014. He 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. The Dismal Science syndicates some of his blog posts from Offsetting Behaviour. Eric is on Twitter @ericcrampton

Housekeeping and Requests! - The Dismal Science

Sep 04, 2012

First, a brief note of apology for the shifting timestamps of posts here at The Dismal Science. Two things I’ve now learned: WordPress here is set to US UK [12 hour offset] time and so I need to adjust for time zone differences when scheduling posts in advance of publication. If I don’t hit the manual override switch, any post that I carefully place in a sequence so that we get everything in a sensible order will be re-arranged for me the next time that WordPress checks the RSS feeds for the blogs from which we here are drawing. The manual override means that The Dismal Science will not catch any updates made at the source blogs, but the link at the top of each post lets anybody check back to the original if something seems critically wrong. Regular service … Read More

The Dismal Science: Stadiums Edition - The Dismal Science

Sep 04, 2012

The rather strong consensus of the academic literature shows that government subsidies to sports stadiums fail to deliver promised economic benefits. Massey’s Sam Richardson, and co-blogger at The Dismal Science, has done the academic heavy lifting in New Zealand; most of the other bloggers syndicated at The Dismal Science have chimed in from time to time with our takes on things. Close-Up highlighted some of Sam’s work on stadiums; I popped up a bit but the serious work on this issue is Sam’s. When Mark Sainsbury asked what Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee thought about the economic case for stadium subsidies, Gerry replied: “They say that economics is the Dismal Science. And you’ve found some really good exponents of that.” Indeed, Gerry. Read More

Alcohol purchase age - The Dismal Science

Aug 29, 2012

I caught a fun call from Christchurch Press reporter Joelle Dally yesterday afternoon. She noted that Doug Sellman disputed my figures and that Sellman claimed I was running a political campaign on the issue. Here are the stats I sent back to the reporter by email after a fire alarm on her side of the call cut the interview short. I must have gotten her email address wrong as none of them showed up in today’s story. Anyway, here’s what I’d sent: Here are some of the stats to which I’d point. I’m sure that Professor Sellman would find reason to find a crisis in youth drinking in them, but I’ve a harder time seeing it. First, I’ll point to the figures from The Social Report that showed no increase in “potentially hazardous drinking” in the 15-24 age cohort … Read More

Capitalist conspiracies? - The Dismal Science

Aug 27, 2012

Bill Kaye-Blake at Groping Towards Bethlehem builds on Thomas Lumley’s post on conspiracy theories and their correlation with beliefs about economics. Bill writes: A conspiracy theory is all about (a) power and (b) ‘truth’. The theory explains that someone with power wants to control the situation. They want to keep us from knowing what’s really going on, or destroy a challenger, or consolidate their power. That is, there is a motivation for the conspiracy; otherwise, why bother going to the trouble? Whether you are talking about ‘Paul is dead’, the international banking cabal, the assassinations of Marilyn Monroe and Vince Foster, Area 51, or WTC7, the key motivation is power. Against this power, the conspiracy theory wields the truth. The believer sees specific patterns and congruences that are arcane but visible to those … Read More

The Dismal Science - The Dismal Science

Aug 24, 2012

Thomas Carlyle called economics the “Dismal Science”, in contrast to what he termed the “Gay Sciences” of poetry and literature. The Dismal Science feed at SciBlogs brings top commentary from the New Zealand economics blogosphere to those more familiar with the Bench Sciences. Curated by the University of Canterbury’s Eric Crampton, who blogs at Offsetting Behaviour, the feed picks posts from our country’s top economics blogs, including Anti-Dismal (Paul Walker), Fair Play and Forward Passes (Sam Richardson), Groping Towards Bethlehem (Bill Kaye-Blake), Offsetting Behaviour (Eric Crampton and Seamus Hogan) and The Visible Hand in Economics (Matt Nolan, James Zucollo and co-bloggers). The Masthead at The Dismal Science borrows Fleeman Jenkin’s illustration of … Read More