Easton, Brian

Easton, Brian



In Brief

Brian Easton is a writer who specialises in the area of economics. He has worked as an editor, academic, a columnist and commentator. Tim Hazeldine in the NZ Listener writes that Brian Easton is ‘a true and tireless gypsy scholar.’ Easton has written a huge range of books, articles and monographs. He has also held a number of distinguished scholarships and fellowships. Brian Easton's published works include The Commercialisation of New Zealand (1997), and its successor, The Whimpering of the State (1998).


Easton, Brian (1943 - ) is a writer on economics, in the broadest sense of the word. A regular columnist for over 30 years at the NZ Listener, he is known for his ability to write without jargon, making complex economic issues readily understandable for the general reader.

Brian Easton was born and raised in Christchurch, and educated at Canterbury and Victoria Universities, and at the University of Sussex and Canterbury where he held teaching positions.

He has been author, co-author, or editor of more than thirty books and monographs. Brian Easton has held a number of scholarships and fellowships including a University of Melbourne Downing Professorial Research fellowship (1987), an SSFRC Hodge fellowship (1989), and a Historical Branch fellowship (1991/1992), a Marsden Fellowship (2004-2006), and a Fulbright Distinguished Visiting Fellowship (2004). He was a 2007 Claude McCarthy Fellow, and held the 2008 David Stout Fellowship. He is a Chartered Statistician, and an Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and holds honorary fellowships at the Stout Research Centre, the Wellington School of Medicine, and the Centre for Health Outcomes, Research and Evaluation, Massey University. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Public Policy of the Auckland University of Technology, and a Distinguished Fellow of the New Zealand Association of Economists.

Tim Hazeldine in the NZ Listener writes that Brian Easton is 'a true and tireless gypsy scholar. He somehow combines journalism, consultancies and book-writing with engagements in no fewer than six institutes of research and tertiary education around the country. His trenchant critiques of economic orthodoxy are particularly praiseworthy, because he does not have the security of a permanent university post to cushion him from unpopularity with the powers that be.'

Recent books by Brian Easton include The Commercialisation of New Zealand (1997) and its successor The Whimpering of the State (1998), and In Stormy Seas: The Post-War New Zealand Economy (1997), The Nationbuilders (2001), and Globalisation and the Wealth of Nations (2007).

He is currently writing a history of New Zealand from an economics perspective, as well as working on contemporary economic issues.


Updated January 2017.