Advising clients on the costs and benefits resulting from regulation and public policy. Economic analysis of the behavioural and financial impacts are an essential step in formulating policy, explaining policy decisions to the public and others, and also measuring the effectiveness of policy against its stated objectives.
The types of issues we can advise clients on include:
Impact assessment — this normally coincides with policy formulation, i.e. it is ex ante. This work is focussed on the assessment of the problem that the policy seeks to address,the setting out of policy objectives, identification of policy options, assessment of the impact of these options relative to a counterfactual of doing nothing (or doing the minimum possible), and identification of a preferred policy.
Evaluation — this work tends to be retrospective, i.e. it is conducted ex post. An evaluation seeks to learn lessons from the policy intervention and therefore analyses the outcomes of it, and, critically, the attribution of these outcomes to the policy itself. Such work ultimately contributes towards better policy-making.
Cost-benefit analysis —this is narrower in scope than an impact assessment or evaluation, being concerned solely with the economic analysis of a particular policy or investment project.
Compliance cost study — these studies look specifically at the impact of policy on market participants, such as increased costs and foregone revenue opportunities.
Scoping study — such studies assess the potential for a future evaluation of a policy, considering methodological challenges and the potential limitations imposed by data constraints, as well as identifying ways of overcoming these.
REFIT and Fitness Check evaluation —introduced by the European Commission in 2010, these are policy evaluations to assess whether the regulatory framework is fit for its intended purpose and seek to identify excessive administrative burdens, overlaps, inconsistencies, and so on. They help to identify the cumulative impact of legislation by considering a policy sector rather than simply an individual policy.