Economics Consulting

Man in glasses

We help organisations with some of their most difficult problems using economics. They may be developing a new strategy, facing a regulator or engaged in litigation.

Typically we work for senior executives in the private and public sector in high profile situations. They often need insight, or analysis, to help them work through complicated decisions or to help them build a case to convince another party of a course of action. That’s where we come in. We work with them to marshal the evidence, develop the arguments and help them articulate ideas to their relevant stakeholders.

We’re one of the UK’s leading economics consultancies and one of 12 economics practices in the PwC global network. In the UK we work as part of PwC’s wider strategy team, Strategy&. We come from a diverse range of backgrounds – speaking 15 different languages from over 18 countries.

We want to leave our clients stronger and foster long-term relationships with them as their trusted adviser. As a graduate economist, you’ll be able to work across all three of our key areas:

Competition, disputes and investigations

We work alongside high-profile clients and legal counsel to develop sophisticated economic analysis that supports competition and State Aid investigations, as well as commercial disputes. We help clients build their cases and present them in front of competition authorities, regulators and courts in a clear and compelling way, supported by robust evidence.

Our expertise includes:

  • market studies and market investigations
  • state aid support: rescue and restructuring plans and implementation of Market Economy Investor Principle (MEIP)
  • preparing and providing expert testimony before competition authorities, regulators and courts.
  • merger analysis: assessing the impact of mergers on competition.

Market reform

We advise governments, regulators, international development organisations and other agencies on solutions to some of their biggest issues. We advise the organisations affected by regulatory and policy change so they can prepare, adapt and benefit. We:

  • develop solutions – collecting evidence, appraising options, conducting cost-benefit analysis
  • put solutions into action – helping organisations respond to opportunities and threats from reform
  • test success and promote sustainability – evaluating success, and reforming policy and regulation.

Foundations for growth

We provide insights on the most important strategic, commercial and operational questions faced by organisations aiming to grow, especially in challenging economic environments. We:

  • find growth opportunities in a low-growth environment by identifying profitable opportunities for businesses
  • build scenarios to understand the impact of technology and social or demographic change on the market
  • assess the total impact – across economic, social, environmental and tax dimensions – of growth opportunities. Our Total Impact Measurement and Management framework, provides a complete assessment of a company’s social, environmental, tax and economic impact in both the short and long term.

For more information, our corporate Economics website, our LinkedIn group and our Economics in Business blog gives a real flavour of what we do and who we are. You’ll find examples of our recent publications, videos of members of the practice (and others we work with, such as academics) discussing hot topics in economics, and descriptions of our practice areas.

As a graduate you'll have early involvement in a project team means you’ll contribute ideas and analysis to high-profile projects. Before long you’ll be meeting clients face-to-face, tackling their issues first-hand and helping us win business.

What you'll do

You'll get involved in a wide range of projects. Our clients will typically set an ‘exam’ question for you to consider and you’ll spend time, within a project team, framing the question in greater depth. You’ll help to give them a clearer picture of what success looks like, how to value it, and advise them on how to achieve it. Below are some examples of recent projects that we’ve completed and would be the sorts of things we’d expect you to be working on:

Helping the UK Airports Commission examine the need for additional capacity

The UK Airports Commission asked PwC to provide analysis on how the UK should meet the need for additional UK airport capacity based on three short-listed options: a second runway at Gatwick, a third runway at Heathrow, and an extension of Heathrow's second runway.

Teams across a range of PwC's service areas examined:

  • Wider economic impacts: we used an economic model to assess the likely impact of the short-listed options on a number of key economic variables, such as GDP, investment, and employment
  • Quality of life: we considered how living near to an airport can affect the quality of peoples' lives, using cutting edge analysis of "mappiness" data
  • Financing: we assessed how likely and easy it would be to obtain finance for the different options and estimated the charges that airlines are likely to have to pay to use the airports
  • The evidence on how airport expansions have affected economies at a local level.

To access the wider economic impacts we used a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model to assess a range of likely "effects" as a result of an airport expansion in the South East. These included:

  • how additional journeys are likely to change passenger expenditure patterns
  • the potential implications of the implied boost to trade-derived productivity associated with the improved connectivity that UK firms will have with overseas firms and markets
  • the potential boost to productivity associated with the Airport Commissions estimates of frequency benefits for business passengers

On 1st July 2015 the Airports Commission released its final report which concluded that the proposal for a new northwest runway at Heathrow Airport, combined with a significant package of measures to address its environmental and community impacts, presents the strongest case to government for expanding aviation capacity in the UK. Our analysis formed part of the evidence base to contribute to this recommendation.

  • Using economics to help establish a regional central bank and monetary union’ example – see below for text

Training & development

Your development journey with us begins with a two month induction programme that introduces you to what we do, the way we work, and our policies as one organisation, followed by an economics-specific induction programme.

During this time you'll learn more about our practice and undergo specific training in frequently-used technical skills. These structured inductions means you not only get to meet the Economics team but also a much wider network of new entrants across PwC.

We’ll want you to learn and improve every day – we believe we offer some of the best learning opportunities; including hands-on coaching from more experienced colleagues, a dedicated mentoring scheme, regular ‘lunch and learn’ sessions on projects and methods, and seminars with academic and client speakers.

As your experience grows, so will your exposure to client projects across a wide range of skill areas, sectors and locations across our global network – we won’t ask you to specialise early. In fact, we encourage mobility within PwC, whether in the UK or overseas through secondments. All our graduates also embark on a rotation programme within the team, which will allow you to gain experience in different parts of the economics practice. That means you’ll have plenty of opportunity to find what you are great at and develop your career path.

Our people

To find out more about what's like to work in our Economoics Consulting team read our profiles below.

Lin

I studied Economics in both my undergraduate and masters degrees so I was keen to apply my knowledge of economic theory in a commercial and practical context – which is why I was attracted to PwC. As an Associate on the Economics graduate programme, I’ve been given the opportunity to explore different types of work across different sectors through a rotation scheme. I’ve already worked across a range of fields – from Competition Economics which I experienced while doing a summer internship with PwC to Macroeconomics, Financial Economics and, most recently, Development Economics. My project team is currently leading the way with developing an evaluation framework for education interventions all around the world. It’s something that I’m extremely passionate about and it’s great that I get to do something that I love every day.

Tom

I joined Economics Consulting at PwC after an excellent summer internship. I’ve since worked across industries and specialisms that include health, entertainment and media, competition and disputes, macroeconomics and sustainability and climate change. In the process I’ve developed a paper on economic clustering and agglomeration for Pinewood Studios (where Star Wars episode VII was filmed) and conducted an economic impact assessment for one of the world’s leading soft drinks companies. My experiences, opportunities and training have boosted my data analysis, econometric and statistical skills. Now I’m leading the development of new approaches in areas such as geo-spatial economics using specialist mapping software. Thanks to PwC’s reach and resources, I’ve been involved in transformational projects – for example, my current project is helping the Qatari Government develop a new health regulation landscape. It’s meant working with the client both overseas and from our London office.

What we look for

  • At least a 340 UCAS tariff or equivalent and be on course for a 2:1 in an Economics-related degree
  • Or at least 240 UCAS tariff but achieved or on track for a 1st class degree in an Economics-related degree
  • A post-graduate degree in Economics or a related subject would be a plus

Our work calls for an agile, creative, enquiring mind that can spot vital trends in economic data. As you’ll be writing reports and giving presentations, outstanding communication skills are also essential.

We expect you to give your point of view, to be curious and to be passionate in everything you do. Academic credentials are important, but not enough in their own right. Your ability to build long-term relationships and commercial acumen are critical to our team’s success. We’re also looking for something extra from your work experience, sporting achievements, hobbies or personal background to enrich our team with diverse experiences. We want people who will take personal responsibility for contributing to the team. If you're as passionate as we are in applying economics to real-life business situations, then consider a career with PwC Economics.

FAQs

How many people work in the PwC Economics team?

There are over 100 people in our Economics and Policy team in London and of those approximately 60 are economists; the balance is made up of policy consultants who bring a variety of skills and experience to our team. We’re also one of 12 economics practices in our global network.

What kind of projects can I expect to work on?

As a new graduate, you’ll be able to work with private and public sector clients across our three key areas of focus (Competition, disputes and investigation, market reform, and foundations for growth). That way, you’ll be guaranteed project experience across a range of different sectors early and can find out what you’re interested in.

How does working at PwC compare to a boutique economics consultancy?

We offer the best of a boutique consultancy, with the added benefits that come with working in one of the world’s leading professional services organisations. This means that you’ll get the opportunity to work with colleagues and clients on a truly global basis, whether on project-based work or international secondments. You’ll also work with a diverse group of individuals, including economists and other like-minded individuals (strategists, operational consultants, and many more). We frequently work with other business areas, giving you the opportunity to work on large-scale and high-profile transformational programmes.

How would you describe the culture of the economics practice?

We pride ourselves on being a diverse, meritocratic, intellectual and supportive team. Most of all, we love what we do, and we have fun doing it. We all help shape our practice, and we foster a sense of entrepreneurship – everybody has a role in identifying and capitalising on new business development opportunities and we see that as an integral part of our work. We come from a diverse range of backgrounds, and we work hard to balance this with other aspects of our lives.

What do you offer in terms of training and will I progress?

As a PwC Economics Consultant you’ll be supported by the best in learning and development – from specialist seminars, courses and toolkits in technical economics, to training in the core consulting skills. Your People Manager will work with you to develop your career with us. How you progress will be based entirely on your own merit and ambition.

Do I need to specialise?

We won’t ask you to specialise if you join our graduate programme. In fact, as your experience grows, so will your exposure to client projects across a wide range of skill areas, sectors and locations across our global network. We also encourage mobility within PwC, whether in the UK or overseas through secondments. And that means you’ll have plenty of opportunity to find your niche and carry on progressing.

How long does the application process take?

If you’re applying as a graduate you’ll need to take some online tests first, but you should get the results within 48 hours. The interview process will be conducted as efficiently as possible - the overall lapse time will depend on availability of applicants and assessors.

Some of your competitors don't require me to undergo psychometric tests or group assessments. Why do you?

All of our work requires a certain level of numerical and mathematical literacy. Psychometric tests early in the recruitment process allow us to establish your quantitative abilities so that during the remainder of the application process we can focus on the more diverse set of skills that you will need to be a great consultant.

Similarly, teamwork and collaboration are a necessity in our team. We have a diverse group of people in our team and work with a range of clients who bring a different set of skills and point of view to each project. Group assessments allow us to get a sense of how you work with others, which is critical given we work together in teams and with client teams.

Come and meet us

Application deadlines

Economics in London

  • Opening date: 1 September 2015
  • Closing date: 8 November 2015
  • Online test deadline: 9 November 2015

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