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Consumer policy

What it is:

Advising clients on consumer behaviour, consumer detriment and the development and assessment of consumer policy.

Types of studies:

Consumer policy plays an important role in many of the sectors in which we have a track record, including financial services, healthcare, digital markets, utilities, housing and environmental issues. We can advise clients (including regulators, government departments, consumer organisations, charities and industry) on all economic aspects of the development and assessment of consumer policy.

This includes:

Consumer harm analysis — identifying and measuring consumer detriment arising in markets and the underlying causes. This can involve working with a market research firm (see below) to analyse personal consumer detriment in a market, or carrying out economic modelling to estimate structural consumer detriment. We can also analyse the extent to which vulnerable consumer groups may be subject to particular harm.

Consumer market research — the design and analysis of market research. We have long-term relationships with expert market research firms for large projects, and can reach consumers in the UK, the EU and further abroad.

Policy and legal review — the review and analysis of existing consumer policy and law in order to identify gaps and areas for improvement. We have successful relationships with a network of legal experts in consumer policy to provide in-depth analysis.

Consumer behavioural insights — analysing consumer behaviour, including behavioural biases, to inform the understanding of the causes of consumer detriment and the likely impact of policy. More detail on our expertise in behavioural economics can be found here.

Policy development and recommendations — the development of policy options for clients based on our information gathering and analysis. We are experienced in facilitating presentations, workshops and conferences as part of this process.

Impact assessment of policy proposals — carrying out impact assessments (either ex ante or ex post) of consumer policies and initiatives. This involves skills such as cost-benefit analysis and multi-criteria analysis. Our impact assessment expertise is presented in more detail here.

Competition analysis — the implications of consumer behaviour and consumer policies for competition - for example, through effects on switching rates or access to products.

Our Experts

Our in-house team in this field includes Pau Salsas , Deborah Drury and David Stubbs

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