Read our latest expert client reports and insight opinion pieces on key economics issues.

  • All
  • Competition
  • Insight
  • Public Policy
  • Regulation
  • Reports
  • Strategy

REPORT: Drivers of firm relocation in the UK

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) commissioned Economic Insight to study why firms of different types choose to relocate some or all of their business functions in the modern UK economy.

REPORT: Economic Impact Assessment of Magnox sites

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) commissioned Economic Insight to undertake an economic impact assessment of the 12 Magnox sites, which are currently being decommissioned. 

INSIGHT: The flaws in floors – and in caps

Economic Insight Director, Sam Williams, comments in Utility Week on the possible introduction of floors and caps on returns at RIIO2.
Download The flaws in floors – and in caps.

REPORT: Better information in the legal services market

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the Legal Ombudsman commissioned Economic Insight to undertake an ambitious programme of research on price transparency in the legal services market. 

INSIGHT: Wile E. Coty

James Harvey, one of our Directors, discusses the implications of the Coty judgment for online selective distribution and platform bans from an economics perspective in Wile E. Coty, published by Concurrences. 

REPORT: Transience as a Driver of Household Retail Costs

Thames Water commissioned Economic Insight to consider the extent to which population transience (transience) – the propensity of people to migrate – drives water companies’ household (HH) retail costs. 

REPORT: Price transparency in the conveyancing market

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) commissioned Economic Insight to undertake an ambitious programme of research on price transparency in the legal services market.  

INSIGHT: I Fought the Law (Society) and the Law Won

In November 2016, the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) heard the first competition law litigation case to be brought under the new Fast Track Procedure (FTP), as introduced under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

REPORT: Valuing different workplace rewards

We were commissioned by The Office of Manpower Economics (OME) to review existing literature on different workplace rewards in the public sector, to help understand the relative value to employees, whilst focusing on workforces covered by Pay Review Bodies.

INSIGHT: United Kingdom Overview

James Harvey, a Director of Economic Insight, provides an overview on key competition economics issues in the UK in an article for the Global Competition Review (GCR).

REPORT: Analysing the consumer impacts of reactive save

Ofcom has published a report by Economic Insight on the consumer welfare effects of potential reforms to the mobile switching process in the UK. 

INSIGHT: Four Practical Issues to Keep (at Least) One Eye on in 2018 – An Economist’s Perspective

James Harvey discusses four practical competition litigation issues to keep an eye on in 2018 in an article for the International Comparative Legal Guide to: Competition Litigation 2018. 

INSIGHT: Shifting incentives in water resources

In this article for the Water Report, Chris Pickard and Sam Williams set out the results of the analysis we undertook for Severn Trent Water on Ofwat’s PR19 proposals for water resources. 

INSIGHT: Where now for an energy price cap?

James Harvey discusses how an energy price cap may not provide the expected savings in an article for Utility Week – “Where now for an energy price cap?”.

REPORT: Household retail input price inflation at PR19

This report sets out a framework for considering input price inflation in HH retail that is consistent with Ofwat’s primary duties and its stated principles for setting price controls.

INSIGHT: Experimenting on consumers

Published by The European Competition Law Review, Madeleine Matos and James Harvey explore how different types of social information can influence consumer behaviour, using a lab-based economic experiment.

REPORT: Future Customer Service Incentive for Water

Ofwat commissioned Economic Insight to consider how to provide water companies with incentives to improve their customer service levels, written in association with Caroline Thompson Associates.

REPORT: Demand Utilisation Risk in Water Resources

Southern Water commissioned Economic Insight to consider the implications of Ofwat’s proposal to allocate demand risk to companies in relation to water resources.  

REPORT: Outcomes Framework at PR19

Thames Water commissioned Economic Insight to assess key issues that must be addressed in order to determine an appropriate approach to outcomes at PR19.

REPORT: Options for household retail cost assessment at PR19

Northumbrian Water and United Utilities asked Economic Insight to consider options for the assessment of household retail costs at PR19. 

INSIGHT: Unregulated legal services – good or bad?

Based on research that we have recently conducted for the Legal Services Board, the third in our latest batch of Insights: Unregulated legal services – good or bad?

INSIGHT: Ready, steady, go – what makes a good outcome?

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) commissioned Economic Insight to undertake a cross-sector comparison of outcomes frameworks to inform the approach that Highways Monitor should take.

INSIGHT: The placebo effect – experimenting on consumers

It is well established that “social information” is now an important input in purchasing decisions, maybe even more so that the one provided by suppliers or experts themselves.

INSIGHT: Testing the waters

James Harvey discusses how conducting experiments can be a useful technique for companies to find out what services their customers want and what they are willing to pay for them in an article for Utility Week – Testing the waters.

REPORT: Cross-Sector Review of Outcomes Frameworks

The Office of Rail and Road asked Economic Insight to undertake a cross-sector review of existing outcomes frameworks to inform early work for its Road Investment Strategy 2.

REPORT: Unregulated legal service providers – Understanding supply-side characteristics

The Legal Services Board (LSB) asked Economic Insight to analyse the supply-side characteristics of unregulated providers in the wills and estate administration, divorce and intellectual property areas.

INSIGHT: New markets: short term costs and long term gains

The Water Report has published an article by Sam Williams “New markets: short term costs and long term gains” discussing how the nature of costs incurred in liberalised markets can differ from those in regulated monopoly markets.

INSIGHT: If at first you don’t succeed…

Utility Week has published an article by James Harvey ‘If at first you don’t succeed’. The article discusses the use of experiments in order to develop better customer engagement in regulated markets.

INSIGHT: Price frames, consumer decision making & consumer harm

Madeleine Matos assesses how the way prices are presented, so called price frames, as well as their levels can affect competition and consumer welfare.

REPORT: Potential form of price control for household water retail

Severn Trent asked Economic Insight to provide analysis to help inform the debate on the appropriate form of any price control for the household water retail market.

REPORT: Implications of competition in retail energy markets for the water sector

A review of competition investigations in the energy sector in order to draw out the implications for the likely development of retail markets in water for household customers.

REPORT: Returns in the UK mobile sector

An analysis of returns in the UK mobile telecoms sector in the context of Ofcom’s Strategic Review of Digital Communications (DCR).

INSIGHT: Price frames effect on consumer decision making

The way prices are presented as well as their levels, can affect competition and consumer welfare, we used a recent super-complaint by Which? to investigate.

INSIGHT: The CMA should not cap energy prices

In the first of our latest batch of Insights we argue that the CMA should not pursue energy price caps at this time.

REPORT: Relationship between public and private funding of R&D

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills commissioned Economic Insight to examine the relationship between public and private investment in research and development (R&D).

INSIGHT: Overcoming customer inertia in water retail

Sam Williams gave a speech at the Marketforce conference on water reform as to how market participants could overcome customer inertia in water retail.

INSIGHT: Retail HH input price pressure and benchmarking analysis

We set out our analytical framework used in the assessment of water companies case for allowing input price pressure within their Retail Business Plans.

INSIGHT: Challenging productivity

Analysing the variation in productivity growth between different sectors of the UK labour productivity statistics could provide the answer to unlocking productivity growth in the UK.

INSIGHT: Carry on collaborating

How can Government and its agencies work out whether the science & innovation campuses have been successful and how much to invest in them?

INSIGHT: The rocky road to competition

James Harvey discusses how regulatory safeguards designed to protect consumers while competition is introduced could have the opposite effect.

INSIGHT: Market design for Tax-Free Childcare voucher accounts

We advised HM Treasury on the issue of whether it should deliver the voucher accounts service using its in-house team, exploring the advantages and disadvantages of different options

INSIGHT: Experimental economics – scattergun or science?

Competition authorities are increasingly using experimental economics to help identify market problems we highlight some of the key issues in their use.

INSIGHT: Better the devil you know

The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa has sadly claimed many lives, we explore how framing of known and unknown risks shapes individual choice and policy.

INSIGHT: Market models for tax-free childcare vouchers: updated

HM Treasury hired Economic Insight to evaluate the pros and cons of new alternative market designs in relation to the provision of tax-free childcare vouchers.

REPORT: Applying CPI inflation to set the license fee for 3G spectrum

Hutchison Three UK hired Economic Insight to support its consultation response to Ofcom regarding the appropriate inflation measure to use in setting the annual license fees for 3G spectrum.

INSIGHT: Turn That Frown Upside Down

We suggest that firms view complaints as a means of gathering valuable customer insights – and that investing in good complaints handling can improve profitability.

INSIGHT: When to pop the question

Survey findings can often form valuable pieces of evidence in competition law cases, we consider the lessons that can be learnt from behavioural economics.

INSIGHT: Enhancing The Bottom Line

Were Affinity and South West Water right to accept Ofwat’s offer of ‘enhanced status’ for their PR14 Business Plans, we crunch the numbers.

REPORT: Solicitors’ Regulation Authority Compensation Fund Review

We examine compensation fund claims data for The Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) to determine what factors impact the likelihood of claims.

REPORT: Gas to the West Pipeline – Northern Ireland

We develop a methodology for assessing bids for the proposed Gas to the West Pipeline for The Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation.

REPORT: Competitive advantage in UK universities

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills hired Economic Insight to uncover the drivers of competitive advantage in UK universities.

REPORT: Market models for tax-free childcare vouchers

HM Treasury hired Economic Insight to evaluate the likely pros and cons of alternative market designs in relation to the provision of tax-free childcare vouchers.

REPORT: The need for adjustments in the annual license fee 900 and 1800MHz spectrum

We advised Hutchison Three UK whether Ofcom’s proposed license fee for 900 and 1800 MHz spectrum should be adjusted to reflect differing taxation treatments.

REPORT: Estimating the cost of capital for the license fee

We undertake an analysis of the appropriate parameters to use in estimating a weighted average cost of capital for Ofcom’s proposed license fee for 900 and 1800MHz spectrum.

REPORT: Streamlining appeals

Hutchison Three hired Economic Insight to undertake an analysis of the impact of making changes to the regulatory and competition law appeals framework in the UK.

INSIGHT: Retail value at the margin

The value of water retail markets is small when compared to the totality of company RCV’s, optimising retail pricing and margins has the potential to enhance shareholder value.

INSIGHT: I love it when a plan comes together- Hannibal Smith

With the publication of Ofwat’s final methodology, the next milestone is the submission of water company business plans. What does the emphasis on “company owned” plans really mean?

INSIGHT: Feeling the squeeze

A margin squeeze test that is poorly designed, implemented or interpreted can stunt competition, contrary to its objective.

INSIGHT: Weird science

This Insight discusses how controlled pricing experiments can help answer these questions and help increase sales and profits.