Dr Andrew Lilico is a Director of Europe Economics, a financial consulting company advising on issues such as economic regulation, competition policy and the application of economics to public and business policy issues.
According to his profile on the Europe Economics website, Lilico has directed major projects on financial services regulation, the cost of capital, pharmaceuticals, competition, and impact assessment. He is described as an “acknowledged authority on the application of real options to price regulation, and has also done working papers on short selling, risk-sharing contracts in pharmaceuticals, housing, debt, and the regulation of markets with short-sighted agents.”
Lilico has featured regularly on the blog sections of both The Telegraph and The Guardian. Between December 2008 and September 2013, Lilico has had nine opinion pieces published in the UK national newspaper The Guardian's Comment is Free section. The majority of these pieces were first published on the Conservative Home website, a purportedly grassroots website of Conservatives “independent but supportive of” The Conservative Party. According to his Guardian profile, Lilico is described as:
- "One of Europe's top experts on the economic impact of financial regulation, he led the teams doing the European Parliament's assessment of the impact of the Financial Services Action Plan, the European Commission's assessment of the costs of complying with financial regulation, and the FSA's assessment of the benefits of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. He is a member of the IEA/Sunday Times Shadow Monetary Policy Committee and a regular commentator on economic issues on BBC television and radio, and on Sky, Bloomberg and CNBC Europe."
In addition to his work with the European Commission, Lilico also works with private companies, including a tobacco company (see below).
Links with Japan Tobacco International
Lilico has written a number of reports for Japan Tobacco International (JTI). On JTI’s UK subsidiary website the following Europe Economics reports are listed:
- Economic analysis of a display ban and/or a plain packs requirement in the UK – 8 September 2008
- The impact of restrictions on the display of tobacco products - 8 October 2009
- Economic analysis of restrictions on the display of tobacco products: 2009 Canadian annual smoking data – letter – 30 November 2010
- Economic analysis of a plain packs requirement in the UK – 29 June 2012
Each report contains a disclosure statement which acknowledges JTI’s commission.
Plain Packaging will Increase Price Competition
In both his 2008 and 2012 reports, Lilico concludes that plain packaging will reduce “brand characteristic awareness (i.e. how accurately consumers are aware of the characteristics of products)” which will lead to price being the main characteristic upon which brands can compete for market share. Lilico argues that eventually the market will be dominated by a small number of brands, a scenario which is damaging to business and contests that this is in direct conflict with the principles of Better Regulation:
- "…a key reason competition impacts are assessed in regulatory analysis is to avoid introducing regulations that so vest market power and damage competition."
UK Consultation on Plain Packaging
In its submission to the UK consultation on plain packaging, JTI spoke of Dr Lilico’s expertise in depth and refer to his work extensively throughout their submission. However, JTI does not disclose that it commissioned Lilico’s work.Savvy readers of JTI’s submission might deduce that JTI may have played a role in the expert research that it cites because the URLs given to access Lilico’s reports in JTI’s consultation submission do link to JTI’s website.
Nevertheless, policy makers having to read 2,444 detailed submissions to the consultation may not have had the resources to explore the industry connectedness of each of the 12 different experts and their work listed by JTI in their response.
Links to the Institute of Economic Affairs
Lilico is also a fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a leading right-wing think tank headed by Mark Littlewood. The IEA receives some of its funding from the tobacco industry. As mentioned above, Lilico is a member of the IEA/Sunday Times Shadow Monetary Policy Committee.
- Lilico’s CV shows that he has also done work for the Association of Convenience Stores. Tobacco companies are members of the ACS, and use the organisation as an independent party to voice industry concerns, (see Third Party Techniques). Both BAT and JTI have quoted arguments of the Association in their submissions to the UK Consultation on Plain Packaging. For more, see Tobacco Industry Responds to UK Plain Packaging Consultation
- Third Party Techniques
- Tobacco Industry Responds to UK Plain Packaging Consultation
- Hiring Independent Experts
- Institute of Economic Affairs
- Association of Convenience Stores
- Europe Economics, About Us, accessed September 2013
- Europe Economics, Our Staff: Andrew Lilico, accessed September 2013
- The Guardian, Andrew Lilico Profile, accessed September 2013
- A. Lilico, Economic Analysis of a plain packs requirement in the UK: A report from Europe Economics, published by Japan Tobacco International, 29 June 2012, accessed September 2013