What is economic consulting?
To understand what economic consulting is, first we must look at what economics is. Economics – the study of how people choose to use their resources. It is a social science which analyses the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.
Therefore, economic consultancies apply economic thinking and analysis to the business, consumer and regulatory issues facing clients. This means they assist clients in understanding and projecting market trends, evaluate new strategies and use financial expertise to persuade decision makers and stakeholders to take action.
A large part of the work economic consultants do is involved in private and public litigation. This involves giving opinions on regulatory issues or policy proposals in the form of written reports. These reports are commissioned by parties in legal proceedings or government departments. Reports written by economic consultants are required in proceedings where expert testimony is required in the areas of finance and economic analysis.
The reports will summarise the various perspectives that economic literature offers around the topic, suggest an appropriate working model and draw conclusions which can then be used in the proceedings.
Some of the other work economic consultants do includes:
- Forecasting and modelling
- Predicting market trends
- Quantitative analysis of economic indicators
- Offering evaluations and predictions based on the laws of economics.
Some of the areas which economic consultants can work in are:
- Economic modelling
- Economic forecasting
- Environmental economics
- Regulatory issues
- Financial economics
- Economic impact
- Economic development
- Labour market economics
- Government policy evaluation
- Macroeconomic modelling
- International trade.
Those working in economic consulting are likely to have either an economic or financial background. This is due to the complex nature of the work. Alongside this, understanding of economic theory it is also important for economic consultants as they need to understand business models and how they work.
Research and analysis skills are essential for those working in economic consulting as they will often be working with complex numerical data and large quantities of background research.
Economic consultants also have strong written and verbal communication skills and the ability to communicate well with others who may not be as knowledgeable about economics. These skills alongside sound judgement and common sense are very important for those looking to succeed.