2019 RANKING & REVIEWS
BEST ECONOMIC CONSULTING FIRMS
The Top Economic Consulting Firms to Help You Stay Ahead of the Game
In business, it all comes down to the bottom line, and there are multiple inputs, some within your control and some not, that factor into an organization’s financial health.
A top economic consultant specializes in the “dollars and cents” that make up your business operations and can help both public and private sector organizations with guidance to improve performance and policies based upon applied economics, economic impact analysis, and forecasting.
While there are many different types of consulting firms that can address any number of corporate needs, when it comes to keeping your company resilient despite market downturns, a top-quality economic consultant is the type you want.
Some of the benefits of working with one of the best economic consulting firms include:
- Receiving a comprehensive analysis of complex economic issues
- Gaining a fuller understanding of economic issues and opportunities
- Economic insights to inform strategic decisions
- Expertise in legal matters, such as antitrust issues, mergers and acquisitions
How do you choose a top-rated economic consultancy to work with?
Not all consultants that deal in economics are of the same calibre, so you’ll want to look at things like case studies, reputation, size and depth of experience.
You can get a head start on your hunt by using this AdvisoryHQ top ranking of the top economic consulting firms that have been chosen as the best in the business. Below, we’ve highlighted their strengths and reasons they’re a cut above the rest.
Award Emblem: Best 9 Economic Consulting Firms
Best 9 Economic Consulting Firms | Brief Comparison & Ranking
Best Economic Consulting Firms
|Boston Consulting Group||5|
|Charles River Associates||5|
|McKinsey & Company||5|
|NERA Economic Consulting||5|
|Bates White Economic Consulting Company||3|
Table: Best 9 Economic Research Firms | Above list is sorted by rating
What’s the Benefit of Economic Consulting Firms?
It’s not always easy for companies to trust another entity enough to not only give them access to their financial data but also to pay them for their advice. But many organizations find the benefits of hiring an economic consultant far outweigh their concerns.
Just as you hire an expert to handle things like working on your HVAC system or your technology infrastructure, if you’re looking for insight into your company’s direction and financial wellbeing, a top economic consulting company can offer valuable insights.
Here are some of the benefits you can experience by working with economic and economic development consulting firms.
Unbiased, Objective Viewpoint
It’s easy to get “group think” in an organization and miss things that might be obvious to outsiders.
From competitive analysis to emerging economies and markets, it’s nearly impossible to know everything that’s happening in your industry and what you need to watch for on the horizon while also running your business on a daily basis.
Economic consulting firms offer a fresh, objective, and unbiased viewpoint as well as significant expertise that’s been earned by working with different companies from a wide range of sectors. This allows them to provide a perspective that can inject fresh ideas and strategies.
Better Use of Time
If you asked your team members to do a thorough economic analysis of various areas of your company, not only would it take up a significant amount of their time, they may also have a pretty large learning curve if this isn’t something that they do every day.
When you work with an expert, there is no learning curve. Economic consultants do this work all the time and not only will be more effective they’ll often have the ability to do a more thorough analysis in less time through their intimate knowledge of business economics.
Economic consulting firms offer more efficient and better use of time when it comes to providing in-depth market and economic analysis and advisement.
Risk is a part of the business. Often it’s said that if there is no risk, there is no reward. But when risk is taken without the right information it can lead to catastrophe.
The calculation of risk versus reward can be complex and may include a number of financial factors that help you gauge the best case and worst-case scenarios. And when you’ve got your business health on the line, you want to ensure you have all the data you need for an informed decision.
Using the latest in economic research locally and globally, economic consulting firms can expertly advise companies on the risks that are worth taking and the ones that they are better off avoiding.
Top-Rated Economic Consulting Firms
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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Economic Consulting Firms
Below, please find the detailed review of each firm on our list of 2019 best economic consulting firms. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these economics consulting firms to score so high in our selection ranking.
Click any of the names below to go directly to the review section for that firm.
- Boston Consulting Group
- Charles River Associates
- Cornerstone Research
- Deloitte Consulting
- FTI Consulting
- McKinsey & Company
- NERA Economic Consulting
- Analysis Group
- Bates White Economic Consulting
Click below for previous years’ rankings:
- 2018 Ranking: Best 7 Economic Consulting Firms (& 1 to Avoid)
- 2017 Ranking: Top 6 Best Economic Consulting Firms
- 2016 Ranking: Top 6 Best Economic Consulting Firms
Boston Consulting Group Review
Helping companies prepare for the next economic downturn, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a top economic consulting firm founded in 1963 to help companies seize competitive advantage and bring about change through bold, new ideas.
Many of BCG’s clients rank among the 500 largest corporations. The firm has offices in over 50 countries, employs a team of 18,500 and has $7.5 billion in revenue.
Key Factors that Enabled BCG to Be Considered Among the Top Economic Consulting Firms
BCG takes an integrated, objective approach to all endeavors, empowering clients with a competitive advantage.
This strategic perspective focuses on backing decisions with valid data, rigorous analysis, external perspectives, root causes, and explicit logic in order to help clients identify and capitalize on economic advantages and prepare for resiliency amidst economic downturns.
When combined with an approach that seeks true partnership between consultants and clients, BCG is an economic consulting firm that delivers real results.
Expertise Across Multiple Environments
As one of the best economic consultancy firms, BCG is keenly aware of the challenges that come with navigating the complex and fluctuating economic environments.
With unique challenges inherent in globalization, technology, and economic intersections, clients need economic consulting services that are fluid and adaptable.
This is why the foundation of BCG’s economic consulting involves expertise in multiple economic environments and industries, helping them bring to the table solutions that have been time-tested.
As one of the top-rated economic consulting firms, BCG understands the need to apply a customized approach to multiple business environments, empowering clients to succeed amidst rapid and often unpredictable market change.
BCG works alongside data scientists, engineers and multiple other specialized teams that provide things like financial decision support and customized research. This offers value to any client looking for the best data to make economic decisions for their company.
With a focus on transparency and trust, a fully holistic approach, and partnerships with experts in multiple disciplines, BCG is one of the best economic consultants to consider partnering with this year and scores a 5-star rating.
Charles River Associates Review
Offering economic guidance for over 50 years, Charles River Associates (CRA) takes a creative and multidisciplinary approach to consult, offering expertise for economic, financial, and strategic needs to organizations and governments around the world.
CRA has headquarters in Boston and London and serves clients from a total of 22 offices around the world. They are called on to provide economic consulting to some of the world’s largest and most well-known companies.
Key Factors That Enabled CRA to Rank Among the Top Economic Consulting Firms
Extensive Experience in Academia-Related Industries
Companies that specialize in providing services based on scientific research require the expertise of those who are qualified to conduct, analyze, and apply academic findings.
Some economic consulting firms overlook the importance of academia when it comes to in-depth and objective research. However, many industries rely heavily on data produced by research professors in universities and colleges to drive their products and services forward.
This is where CRA stands out among the overwhelming abundance of economic consulting firms available and offers services in the following academia-based industries:
- Life sciences
- Health care
- Metals, mining & minerals
Top Firms Offering Economic Consulting Services
Offering of Educational Seminars
As one of the top-ranked economic consulting firms, CRA offers educational presentations to simplify complex terminology and concepts for its clients.
Presentations cover a wide range of topics from the firm’s experience in economics to how regulatory changes may affect your organization. The firm also has the ability to modify them or create customized presentations to meet individual needs.
- Antitrust & competition economics
- Financial economics
- Health care & life sciences
- Intellectual property
- International arbitration
- Labor & employment
- Transfer pricing
Charles River Associates prides itself on employing a team of exemplary economic consultants, many of them recognized as experts in their respective fields.
In addition to illuminating educational seminars, CRA also has close partnerships with respected academics and industry experts, offering clients a depth of analysis that can’t be found at all other economic consultancies.
With a reputation for excellence and a goal to demystify the complex works of economic consulting, Charles River Associates solidifies their 5-star rating as a top economic consultant to consider partnering with in 2019.
Cornerstone Research Review
Offering objective, state-of-the-art analysis, Cornerstone Research is a top-rated economic consulting firm committed to producing outstanding results for their clients.
The firm offers economic and financial expertise in all phases of commercial litigation and regulatory proceedings.
Cornerstone Research has a history dating back over three decades and employs a team of 700 professionals. They have offices in Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Washington D.C.
Key Factors That Enabled Cornerstone Research to Rank Among the Top Economic Consulting Firms
Experts in Financial Institutions
Cornerstone is one of the best economic consulting firms for financial institutions to consider. It has multiple experts to offer guidance in the following financial matters:
- Financial products
- Risk management
- Financial services regulations
- Securities analysis
- Investment management
- Industry economics
As a top-rated economic consulting firm, Cornerstone can manage the entire process from the initial investigation through the litigation that would follow. They are also able to take on antitrust and securities litigation, bank failures, and mutual fund fees.
Not many consulting firms are able to master so many varied services while still maintaining a high quality of work. This makes Cornerstone an excellent economic consulting firm to use for advice related to financial institutions.
For potential clients in need of economic consulting services, finding the right economic consulting firm can be a complicated task and often websites can be difficult to navigate and find what you need.
Cornerstone makes it easy to evaluate their expertise, current research, and past successes by grouping all relevant information together in an easily accessible format on their website.
For example, while evaluating Cornerstone for its Financial Institutions practice, potential clients can access:
- Areas of expertise (along with concrete examples)
- Past cases that the firm has worked on
- Relevant publications from Cornerstone experts
- Selected experts and staff members that specialize within the practice
While many economic consulting firms offer a variety of consulting services, Cornerstone Research is laser-focused on economic and financial consulting, which offers a unique value to clients knowing they are experts in this distinct area.
With a boutique focus on litigation and regulatory proceedings and a commitment to women in leadership and diversity, Cornerstone Research is awarded a 5-star rating as one of the top economic consulting firms to consider working with this year.
Deloitte Consulting Review
Deloitte Consulting is a top economic consulting firm committed to helping their clients achieve remarkable goals and solve complex problems.
The firm has a history that spans over 150 years, employs 245,000 professionals and works in 150 countries and territories. They provide audit and assurance, tax, legal, risk, and financial advisory and consulting services globally.
Key Factors That Enabled Deloitte Consulting to Rank Among the Top Economic Consulting Firms
For those organizations looking for more insightful, data-backed revelations and value, Deloitte offers audit innovation. They take audits beyond what other economic consulting firms may do and leverage cutting-edge technology and transformative service delivery models.
This team of expert economic consultants tailor-fit solutions for each client’s industry, financial statements, and stakeholders. They believe that audits of today should help companies anticipate changes in the business world and adapt continuously.
When it comes to the numbers, the right data can make all the difference in making the right decisions, which is why Deloitte harnesses a combination of technology and industry expertise to provide insightful and helpful audit reporting.
2019’s Top Economic Consulting Companies
The economic expertise that’s provided by Deloitte covers a wide range of industries, illustrating the depth of knowledge and experience held by their expert consultants.
As a top global economic consulting firm, Deloitte understands that what works in one industry, may not work in another, so they tailor their solutions to fit the distinct needs of each one.
Their staff includes real-world professionals that have a background in the particular industry they’re advising to ensure practical perspectives and solutions that can help minimize risk and give companies a competitive edge.
Industry sectors, each with their own sub-sectors, that are served by this economic consulting firm include:
- Energy, Resources & Industrial
- Financial Services
- Government & Public Services
- Life Sciences & Health Care
- Technology, Media & Telecommunications
Deloitte offers a wide range of knowledge and the real-world experience in the industry to provide customized solutions that work. Rather than rest on their laurels, this economic consulting firm is one that is continuously innovating.
FTI Consulting Review
Dedicate to the values of integrity, achievement, and respect, FTI Consulting is a top-rated economic advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations manage change and mitigate risk.
FTI Consulting combines expertise and thought leadership to help clients make the right decisions during critical times, a skill which helps them serve over half of the Global 100 companies.
FTI is headquartered in Washington, DC and has a team of 4,700 located in 27 countries across six continents. Their global reach allows them to resolve even the most complex enterprise issues.
Key Factors That Enabled FTI Consulting to Rank Among the Top Economic Consulting Firms
A Clear Set of Defined Values
For many clients, a clearly defined set of values is an important component of economic consulting, as these principles drive the economic advisory services that they are relying upon to make key decisions.
At FTI Consulting, they follow the “I CARE” model, where each letter stands for a value that is also a commitment to the clients the firm serves:
- Integrity: I act with integrity
- Creativity: I am committed to continuous improvement
- Achievement: I am committed to quality and accountable for results
- Respect: I welcome diversity and differences of opinion
- Empathy: I support others
When a company openly shares its values for all to see, it is typically a good sign of integrity and a genuine desire to help its clients achieve their goals, placing FTI Consulting among the best economic consulting firms.
Four Core Attributes
FTI Consulting is also dedicated to providing meaningful transformation and impacts for their clients, in part due to their four core attributes:
- Definitive Expertise: Clients have access to a wide range of professionals across six different industry sectors, all with extensive, practical experience
- Culture & Working Style: By integrating its core values, FTI Consulting maintains a culture that is passionate about making a meaningful difference
- Comprehensive Services: FTI Consulting is prepared to meet a variety of needs, spanning from reputational to financial
- Industry Experience: The firm employs seasoned professionals with years of hands-on management and experience across 16 industries
Not only does FTI demonstrate a strong foundation of values, but these core attributes make it clear that the firm has the experience and knowledge to take on a variety of economic consulting and economic research needs.
FTI Consulting has more than four decades of experience and an impressive array of client case studies that illustrate the value this top economic consultant offers. Their focus on values and transparency is also a welcome sign to many seeking their services.
McKinsey & Company Review
McKinsey & Company is a top-rated economic consulting firm founded in 1926 that is dedicated to helping its clients create change that matters and achieve their most important goals.
The firm employs 30,000 professionals that work in 130 cities around the world. Their youth employment non-profit, Generation, has graduated an impressive 25,000 young people.
McKinsey has garnered awards for their work, being named in 2018 and 2019 as a number one firm for consulting, economic consulting and economic research by Vault.
Key Factors That Enabled McKinsey & Company to Rank Among the Top Economic Consulting Firms
Strong Focus on the People
When getting to know the people at McKinsey, you will soon discover that one of the firm’s greatest assets is their staff.
McKinsey truly invests in their staff and their wellbeing, creating an inclusive, welcoming, nonhierarchical, and diverse environment for professionals to grow in their career and have the support that allows them to make a difference in the world.
This best economic consulting company also emphasizes the importance of diversity across all arenas and believes that diversity is a strength that allows for better insights, strategizing, and decision-making.
Not only does this sense of community allow clients to benefit from a wide range of skills, but it also creates a supportive, inclusive working environment, something that McKinsey is well-known for.
Best Economic Consulting Firms 2019
Involvement in Developing Issues and Trends Across the World
For top economic consulting firms like McKinsey, their work doesn’t end with guiding clients all around the world. The firm also aims to make a meaningful difference and a lasting impact when it comes to global issues.
For example, one of its global themes is Women Matter, a research initiative which explores the importance of gender diversity and its global economic impact.
Powered by The McKinsey Global Institute, Women Matter has a track record of over a decade of global research, outlining the definitive attributes of an inclusive organization and striving to promote diversity of all kinds.
In coordination with their gender diversity research initiative, the McKinsey quarterly publication Five-Fifty recently published a series of reports and articles exploring why women continue to be under-represented in management.
From research insights to perspectives provided by its own female employees, McKinsey aims to have a huge influence on the evolution towards a world where women experience greater fulfillment in their careers and are treated as equals.
McKinsey & Company doesn’t just strive to be a top-rated economic consulting firm, their goal is to help make the world a better place. They’re uniquely suited to working with organizations of all types, especially those who share a similar goal.
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NERA Economic Consulting Review
Dedicated to applying economic, finance and quantitative principles to complex issues, NERA Economic Consulting is a top consulting firm that specializes in economics and that started over a half-century ago. The firm boasts a team of leading experts in a number of industries.
The firm is one of the world’s largest economic consultancies and serves clients in over 130 countries from over 25 offices across North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific.
NERA has the distinction of having worked with all 100 of the American Lawyer Global 100 largest law firms and with 97 of the Fortune US 100 largest corporations.
Key Factors That Enabled NERA to Rank Among the Top Economic Consulting Firms
Readily Available Experts
Not all economic consulting firms make it easy for potential clients to fully research or get in touch with a consultant, but this is something that helps distinguish NERA from the competition.
When searching for an expert on NERA, clients can immediately view the expert’s name, title, area of practice, location, phone number, and email address. Additionally, robust details like publications and cases/project experience are also readily available to review.
Each profile features a full resume, along with any news or events that feature the expert, making it easy for potential and current clients to be fully informed about any particular professional expert and also contact them when needed.
Impressive Range of Practice Areas
Compared to other economic consulting firms on our list, NERA provides a vast range of capabilities, including:
- Antitrust and Competition
- Bankruptcy and Financial Distress Litigation
- Consumer Protection in Financial Services
- Regulatory Economics
- Securities and Finance
- Transfer Pricing
- Environmental Economics
- Intellectual Property
Because NERA is focused on economic consulting specifically, they have the ability to offer a broad range of specialty services. NERA also provides expert economic consulting across a variety of industries, solidifying their value within the consulting industry.
It’s easy to see why NERA is a global leader in economic consulting, bringing academic rigor, objectivity, and real-world industry experience to their clients. The firm has worked with the world’s leading law firms and corporations on things like regulation, public policy, strategy, and litigation.
With an impressive catalogue of experts that have a global reputation and a focus on quality and integrity, NERA stands firm as one of the top-rated economic consulting firms to consider in 2019 and earns a 5-star rating.
Analysis Group Review
With a focus on economic, financial, and strategy consulting, Analysis Group was founded in 1981 and is a global economic consultant that works with top law firms, Fortune Global 500 companies, and government agencies worldwide.
The firm has a team of 950 professionals that work from 14 offices, 9 of which are located in the U.S. The others are in Beijing, Brussels, London, Montreal, and Paris.
Key Factors That Enabled Analysis Group to Rank Among the Top Economic Consulting Firms
One of the features that Analysis Group takes great pride in is the use of affiliated experts to offer a range of expertise with its clients’ individual situations and needs.
The firm has very strict hiring standards and will only bring on industry experts that have the time and results to back up their credentials.
What does this mean for a company that works with Analysis Group? It means that signing with this top-rated economic consultant allows access to a broad range of qualified professionals.
The firm’s website allows the current client and potential clients to click on each individual expert, view his/her profile, and determine if that individual will be the most appropriate for their circumstances. In some cases, they may even have an expert assigned if he/she is an exact match for your needs.
Outstanding Public Reputation
Warren Buffett, one of the greatest investors of all time, is popular for the following quote: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
Analysis Group is one of the top economic consulting firms around for this very reason. It provides complete transparency when it comes to media, displaying every single press release about the company on its website in addition to articles that are critical of its services.
This news list is continually updated, which points to a dynamic company that is always doing things, making a difference for their clients, and making the news.
This transparency means that when evaluating their economic development consulting services, potential clients have no questions about the firm’s integrity, or what their economic consultants have achieved for other companies.
Top Global Economic Consulting Firms
Analysis Group has a long-standing reputation as a top economic consulting firm and their attention to only hiring the best and most experienced experts makes them an excellent resource for many organizations that are seeking quality economic consulting.
While they are among the most respected economic consultancies, the firm does have a team and global reach that is more limited than many of the other firms on our list.
Additionally, they note offering a rather large range of services, which might mean their smaller team is stretched more thinly across all those areas of expertise than at other firms. For these reasons, we’ve scored Analysis Group with 3-stars.
Bates White Economic Consulting Review
With strong principals and dynamic approaches, Bates White is a top economic consulting firm that provides advanced economic, financial, and econometric analysis to law firms, government agencies, and companies.
The firm is based in Washington, DC and has been recognized in their industry as a top-ranked consulting firm by Vault in 2019 and were chosen as a Top Workplace in 2018 by the Washington Post.
Key Factors That Enabled Bates White to Rank Among the Top Economic Consulting Firms
Exceptional Client Experience
Bates White is committed to building strong, collaborative relationships with their clients, taking a hands-on approach to gain a full understanding of each client’s needs, goals, and industry parameters.
As a team, the economic consultants at Bates White are passionate problem-solvers, committed to working together and leveraging their individual strengths. This allows clients to benefit from a broad range of skills, which leads to a more in-depth, strategic economic consulting experience.
Ultimately, this dedication towards collaboration and the client experience support the firm’s commitment to exceed expectations and puts Bates White on top as an economic consulting firm to consider.
Firms that are transparent about their values and principles tend to support better client experiences and positive economic consulting outcomes.
Not only does transparency build trust between client and consultant, but it also demonstrates that the firm understands the importance of guiding principles and holds its team members accountable to uphold high standards.
The guiding values at Bates White reflect integrity, diligence, and the importance of creating a rewarding experience:
- Exceed our clients’ expectations
- Forge long-term client relationships
- Empower our people
- Respect our people and trust their judgement
- Build a collaborative work environment
- Maintain an entrepreneurial spirit
- Share risks and rewards
- Deliver on commitments both internally and externally
- Build an environment where diverse skill sets are valued
Bates White takes a client-centric approach that ensures clients are kept in the loop with clear communications at all times. The firm’s team founded the Bates White Women’s Network which is dedicated to offering a vehicle for sharing information on gender-based issues.
Although the firm shows deep insight by supporting employee retention and talent development through the Women’s Network, Bates White is slightly behind some of the other top-rated economic consulting firms in terms of impact.
By creating a research-driven culture, the impact of the Women’s Network could be significantly enhanced by conducting industry-specific research or creating a regular publication for the firm.
Additionally, although Bates White partners with E.CA Economics to offer economic consulting to European clients, the firm looks to have only a single location, and it’s unclear how wide their national or global reach extends.
For these reasons, we’ve scored Bates White Economic Consulting with 3 stars. By creating more impact through their Women’s Network and clearly defining their national and international economic consulting capabilities, they could easily be ranked higher in the future.
Conclusion – 2019 Top Economic Consulting Firms
No matter what industry you work in, finances and economics come into play. Often facts and figures are the basis of any major corporate decision, so ensuring you have the in-depth data that you need is important.
The best economic consultancies can help you see things from a different perspective, uncover truths hidden amongst reams of data, and put the numbers together that you need to make impactful decisions.
Working with firms that specialize in economic consulting services can often help companies forge the right path forward and ensure their business is resilient in the wake of any financial market downturns.
While other types of business consultants can help you with things like marketing and strategy, economic consultants are all about your bottom line and keeping you healthy financially for years to come.
The firms on this list represent the best in the world when it comes to receiving quality financial and economic consulting services from a firm you can trust to be by your side for the years and decades ahead.
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AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:
Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.
Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.