Economic Advisor

Senior Associate or Associate
Working in the Competition Economics Team which is part of the Competition Group. This is a full-time job based in London or Edinburgh.
About the job
Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications sectors and we are globally respected for the work we do. We regulate the TV and radio sectors, fixed line and mobile telecoms, postal services, plus the airwaves over which wireless devices operate, always with the aim of furthering the interests of UK citizens and consumers. As part of Ofcom, the Competition Group is focused on identifying and responding to competition issues in all these sectors. We prefer to allow markets and competitive forces to determine outcomes and only intervene with regulation if this is unsuccessful.
As part of the economics team within Ofcom’s Competition Group, you will help ensure our policies have a sound economic foundation and deliver a real, long term impact in what is an increasingly important and dynamic sector for consumers and companies. You will work collaboratively with other economists, as well as lawyers, technical experts, accountants and policy specialists. You will have the opportunity to work across all the communication markets we regulate and further develop your economic expertise through working on a wide range of challenging issues.
Key responsibilities
On a typical project, you will be responsible for the following.
  • Identify the key economic issues.
  • Help develop the analytical framework for addressing those issues.
  • Consider what information is needed to inform the economic analysis, and how that information will be gathered.
  • Provide high quality analysis, including anticipating and considering counter-arguments or different points of view, from others within Ofcom and from external stakeholders.
  • Provide clear, well-reasoned drafting, including for documents that will be published.
  • Attend team meetings, governance meetings and meetings with stakeholders.
  • Work with the Principal Economist and/or Economic Director on the project to ensure they are in agreement with the proposed framework and approach, are kept informed of progress and can provide timely comments and guidance on the analysis.
  • Demonstrate Ofcom’s values.
Ofcom exists to make communications work for everyone. We do this through our work to promote choice, secure standards and prevent harm. Our values set out the way we work together to achieve this:
  • Excellence: Quality is at the heart of everything Ofcom does, now and in the future, with a focus on the needs of citizens and consumers.
  • Collaboration: We are collaborative, working together across the organisation, sharing information and recognising we are all working towards our shared goal.
  • Empowerment: We ensure that colleagues are empowered so that decisions are taken at the right level in the organisation.
  • Agility: We work in an agile and timely fashion, prioritising our work effectively, so we have real impact without compromising on quality.
Senior Associates have substantial work experience in competition or regulatory policy. They are expected to lead the delivery of the economic input on large projects and participate in stakeholder meetings. There may also be opportunities for Senior Associates to manage more junior colleagues.
Associates have typically worked for a few years in competition or regulatory policy, or have recently completed a relevant PhD. The role is not suitable for a graduate with no work experience. If you have strong academic qualifications but no work experience, then please apply instead to Ofcom’s graduate scheme.
The qualities we are looking for
You must be able to show a good understanding of microeconomics and have experience in applying it. Ofcom offers a supportive environment where you can consider issues with colleagues and develop proposals. As your team’s proposals develop, you will also need to be comfortable having your team’s solutions constructively reviewed, challenging you to explain with clarity the logic and evidence that supports your team’s recommendations.
  • Excellent knowledge of microeconomics: Ofcom is an economic regulator and our policies are based on solid economic foundations. You will therefore need to have a good grounding in microeconomics, with training in one or more of industrial organisation, public economics or financial economics. Typically this will be through a degree in economics or, preferably, a post-graduate qualification (such as an MSc or a PhD with relevant specialisms).
  • Ability to apply economic concepts: You will need to be able to apply your knowledge of microeconomics to new situations. Communications markets are dynamic, and we face problems that are novel and complex. You need to be able to identify the key economic issues and the best framework for considering them. Working with the rest of your project team, you will define workable solutions, which will often require new and creative approaches.
  • Collaboration and communication skills: Written documents are the norm and to be successful in the Competition Group the ability to communicate written arguments effectively is vital. Beyond capturing insights in writing there is a strong culture of collaboration. We contribute to others’ ideas and are open to others contributing to ours, so good verbal and listening skills are essential. 
  • Quantitatively strong: Quantitative analysis supports most of our decisions, so you need to be experienced in interpreting information, and have good attention to detail. Experience of using or developing spreadsheet models is desirable but not essential.
  • Experience: You will need to demonstrate that you have past experience of applying economics, preferably in regulation or competition policy. This will typically have been gained through working at a consultancy, at another regulator or competition authority, or even at a regulated company. While not essential, it would be useful if you are familiar with the communications industry.
If you are interested in the role, we invite you to submit a CV and short covering letter explaining how you fulfil the qualities above. Please also ensure you have submitted current salary details and any other information you think we should have (for example, if you want to only work part time). If you would like more information about the nature of the role, please see here.
Ofcom is an equal opportunities employer. We wish to reflect the diversity of contemporary UK society and are therefore actively seeking to recruit colleagues from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds as well as those who have a disability.