Most economic consultancy reports are not published as they generally address client specific issues and may contain confidential information. However, some are of more general interest and are made publicly available. The following are examples of reports that have been published either online or in hard copy. The studies were undertaken by KHSK Economic Consultants where KHSK were either the lead consultants or worked in consortia with other firms:
International Comparative Practice in the Approach to and Levels of Compensation of Property Owners in Proximity to High-Voltage Transmission Lines
The location and construction of electricity transmission infrastructure such as lines, pylons and sub-stations, is an increasingly contentious area of development policy in Ireland and in many other countries. Eirgrid has developed plans for the construction of a 400kV interconnector with Northern Ireland that is deemed to be of national and European strategic importance. The successful implementation of these plans will depend on many factors but ensuring the co-operation of landowners along the line’s route is particularly important. The principle of providing compensation to landowners when new lines are constructed is well established in Ireland and in many countries, but practices differ considerably. KHSK was commissioned to review practices in a range of European and other countries in order to develop a strategic approach to maximise the changes for a successful construction project and to provide an information base for the development of Irish policy in the respect. Download the full report here.
Cost Benefit Analysis of the Proposed Regional Reorganisation of the CIS and MABS Network
The Citizens Information Board had decided to reorganise its services delivery network to address issues arising from the governance and oversight of 93 local companies and to carry out a cost benefit analysis of a proposed 8 region model. The study identified the rationale for the expenditure in the form of a principal agent problem, concluded that the proposed change constitute a feasible proposition and identifed net benefits of €18.9 million. Qualitative improvements, such as better customer service and improved oversight by the CIB, were also identified, but it is not possible to place a reliable monetary value on these effects. A sensitivity analysis showed that the result remains strongly positive even if there are no efficiency gains. A cost effectiveness analysis also showed that the regional consolidation model is superior to alternatives. The strongly positive outcome leads to a recommendation that the required resources should be allocated to implement and operate the proposed reorganisation. Download the full report here.
Review of the Obstacles that Hindered the Planned Introduction of Pay by Weight Charging in 2016
It had been proposed to introduce pay by weight (PBW) charging for household waste collection from July 2016. Considerable planning and policy development had been undertaken as well as introducing new legislative measures and a large consultation process in advance of this date. The policy measure was in keeping with long established policy principles in the sector and the industry had undertaken considerable investment in advance. However, the measure came to be seen as controversial and it subsequently proved to be impossible to introduce PBW pricing. KHSK was commissioned to examine the reasons for this outcome. The project involved a wide ranging consultation process and the identification of common views among very disparate operators facing a range of incentives. The resulting report was subsequently published by the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment. Download the full report here.
Assessment of Possible Fiscal Incentives in Relation to the Built Heritage in Ireland’s Towns
This study, which was undertaken in association with Peter Bacon & Associates for the Heritage Council, examines the costs and benefits of providing fiscal incentives to the owners of heritage buildings in Irish towns. It provides an assessment of the costs and benefits of public investment in heritage and identifies and number of opportunities within the fiscal system. It also points to a number of additional sources of funds and puts forward an innovative proposal for a system of local levies that would be revenue neutral and would be sufficiently flexible to reflect valuations of local heritage buildings. Download the full report here
Assessment of the Consequences of the Proposed Sale of Coillte’s Timber Harvesting Rights.
The sale of state assets is a part of the Troika bailout agreement and the Government had indicated that the forward sale of Coillte timber assets was under consideration to raise funds. This report, which was undertaken with Peter Bacon & Associates on behalf of IMPACT, examined the economic implications of this policy course from the point of view of the full impact on the Irish economy rather than simply in terms of raising short term finance. It made a number of important findings and showed that this policy was in direct contradiction to existing forestry policy, that it would impose considerable long term costs on the economy, and that there are additional important risks that have not been considered. Download the full report here
A Contribution to the Debate on National Economic Recovery.
Export-led growth based on improved competitiveness is a central plank of the Government’s strategy for economic recovery. However, the fact is that the export sector recovered quickly but domestic demand has remained very suppressed. This report, which was undertaken with Peter Bacon & Associates showed the importance of the domestic economy and indicated a number of measures, some radical, many not politically popular, that would be help to stimulate recovery if implemented. Download the full report here
Design of a Supplementary Development Contribution Scheme for MetroWest.
Under Section 49 (1) of the Planning & Development Act 2000, Planning Authorities may include conditions when granting planning permission requiring the payment of a contribution towards the costs of providing a specified piece of public infrastructure. This report was prepared as an input to the design of a Supplementary Development Contribution Scheme (SDCS) to part finance investment in the proposed MetroWest Light Rail System in the South Dublin County Council (SDCC) administrative area. KHSK Economic Consultants were engaged by SDCC to provide estimates and advice for the preparation of the SDCS. Download the full report here
The Implications of Over-Capacity in the Irish Hotels Sector.
This study, undertaken in association with Peter Bacon & Associates and Horwath Bastow Charleton was commissioned by the IHF to examine the situation in the Irish hotels sector in the aftermath of a rapid expansion in capacity in the economic boom and the subsequent downturn. The study provided detailed estimates of debt and revenues in the sector and projections for future performance. It concluded that Ireland needed to reduce its room capacity by in the region of 25% in a managed fashioned. Download the full report here
Design of a Supplementary Development Contribution Scheme for Kildare Rail Project.
This report was prepared as an input to the design of a SDCS to part finance investment in the Kildare Rail Project in the South Dublin County Council administrative area. KHSK Economic Consultants were engaged by SDCC to provide estimates and advice for the preparation of the SDCS to ensure that it was designed and implemented in a manner that was transparent, certain, equitable, efficient, appropriate to the development and consistent with other relevant schemes. Download the full report here
Strategic Review of the Irish Motor Retail Sector.
This project was undertaken with Peter Bacon & Associates in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis and a sharp fall in the sales of new cars in Ireland that threatened the viability of dealerships. The research found that the sector was largely viable but under severe short term stress and that aspects of Irish economic policy and regulations were adding to the difficulties. The report was influential in pointing to the need for short term measures and the move away from annual registration numbering. Download the full report here
Examination of the Impact of Recent Price Collapse in Markets for Recyclate Materials.
Repak was created to assist firms in meeting their recycling requirements under Irish regulation and had operated successfully for many years. However, partly as a result of the global economic downturn, the price that was being received for the recovered materials had fallen sharply rendering the underlying business model unsustainable. This report for Repak was undertaken with Peter Bacon & Associates and showed clearly the impact of the price falls on the business and identified measures that would be required if Ireland was to continue to meet its commitments to increase recycling rates. Download the full report here
Estimates for a Supplementary Development Contribution Scheme for Metro North.
KHSK Economic Consultants were engaged by Dublin City Council to provide estimates and advice for the preparation of the draft SDCS for Metro North to ensure that the scheme was designed and implemented in a manner that was transparent, certain, equitable, efficient, appropriate to the development and consistent with other relevant schemes as required under the Planning & Development Act 2000. Download the full report here
Socioeconomic Appraisal of Clogher Head Offshore Wind Farm
Offshore wind farm development are subject to a rigorous planning process, part of which requires that the economic impact of the development is clearly identified. This study fulfilled this requirement of the process by providing estimates for the potential impact of the windfarm under headings such as employment, incomes, taxes and emissions avoided. Download the full report here
Design of Supplementary Development Contribution Scheme for Metro North.
This report was prepared for Fingal County Council as an input to the design of a Supplementary Development Contribution Scheme (SDCS). The scheme was to part finance investment in the proposed MetroNorth Light Rail System in the Fingal County Council area. The design ensured that the scheme’s measures were transparent, certain, equitable, efficient, and consistent with other relevant schemes. Download the full report here
Analysis of Competitiveness Indicators and Forecasting Potential of the IMI Dataset of MNCs.
The Irish Management Institute had been undertaking an annual survey of Chief Executives of the largest multinational companies (MNCs) operating in the Irish economy for a number of years to identify the main drivers of Ireland’s competitiveness from their point of view, how these were developing over time and opportunities for further improvements. The survey had originally been designed by Kevin Hannigan and with a growing dataset, KHSK were commissioned to provide a multi-annual analysis of the data to identify the main points of interest and identify ways in which the survey might be expanded. Download the full report here
While wind energy had attracted most attention in terms of providing a renewable resource to contribute to meeting Ireland’s energy needs, work has also been ongoing to develop the energy potential of wave energy around Ireland’s coasts. This is potentially many times greater than total needs and does not suffer from problems of intermittency to the same extent as wind. However, it is a relatively undeveloped resource. This major study commissioned by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland was undertaken with Peter Bacon & Associates and ESB International. It clearly illustrated the extent of Ireland’s wave resources, indicated how Ireland might capitalise on this opportunity and set out a multi-annual programme to realise the potential. Download the full report here
A Review and Appraisal of Ireland’s Forestry Strategy.
The extent of Ireland’s forestry plantations in private ownership had been growing rapidly since a programme of incentives was introduced in the mid-1990s. However, targets were not being achieved and impending amendments to the CAP threatened to undermine the attractiveness of the forestry supports. This was the first full Review of the forestry strategy that had been commissioned by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry since the policy was introduced and was undertaken in association with Peter Bacon & Associates and Deloitte. Download the full report here
Developing the Irish Short Sea Shipping Services Sector.
This study was commissioned under the NDP Marine RTDI Desk Study Series overseen by the Irish Maritime Development Office. It was undertaken in association with Logistecon Consultants, Ecorys Research and MEL Erasmus Consulting. It examined the potential for new sea routes to develop between Ireland the Baltic region given the extension of the EU to the east and the introduction of road charging schemes in various EU countries. It concluded that this potential was real but would probably require more widespread road pricing to be introduced before it would be realised. Download the full report here
Methodological Issues in the Design of a Residential Letting Price Index for Dublin
One of the side-effects of the rapid increase in residential prices in Ireland during the boom was the increase in long term renting instead of purchasing and the growth in private apartments living. However, there was no reliable . This study, undertaken in association with Peter Bacon & Associates for a large firm in the sector examined four methodologies – mean prices, the median price, repeat contracts and the hedonic methodology – as a basis for an index of rental prices. While not perfect, the preferred option was a modified version of the repeat contracts approach which provided fairly consistent results without undue dataset complexity. Download the full report here
The Economic Impact of Broadband
Despite good international connectivity and various Government initiatives, the uptake of broadband in Ireland was quite slow with persistent reports of inadequate service. This study for the Information Society Commission was undertaken in association with Sonas Innovation and Peter Bacon & Associates to examine the economic impact of extensive broadband uptake to further promote development in this direction. Download the full report here
The Demand and Supply of Skills in the Biotechnology and Life Sciences Sub-Sectors.
Biotechnology had been identified by Forfás as a sector with considerable future potential for growth and job creation, particularly given the existence of many leading pharmaceutical firms in Ireland. The Expert Group on Skill Needs commissioned this study, which was undertaken along with Peter Bacon & Associates, to identify the drivers for development in this sector and the implied requirements in terms of skills and implications for the education sector. Download the full report here
Forestry: a Growth Industry in Ireland.
This study commissioned by COFORD and undertaken with Peter Bacon & Associates showed that there were important positive net benefits arising from the forestry supports. However, it was important that the wider range of advantages of forests such as recreation and sequestration were included along with timber output and that the policy environment was stable over the long term to reduce uncertainty. Based on these results, an earleir policy decision to reduce supports was reversed soon afterwards. Download the full report here
Report of Task Force on Port Estates in Commercial Harbours.
The Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources set up a Task Force to examine the extent, usage, and opportunities that are inherent in the estates under the control of Irish state-owned ports. KHSK Economic Consultants were engaged to provide information and analysis to the Task Force and to provide the written report to the Minister. The work identified significant land holdings, not all of which are required by the ports and included recommendation to improve the productivity and public returns from these holdings. Download the full report here
Strategic Review & Outlook for Waste Management Capacity and the Impact on the Irish Economy
Ireland’s waste management policy has undergone significant change with incentives to change behaviour including measures to make landfill less attractive. However, these overly restricted the availability of landfill which was still needed. This study, which was undertaken in association with Peter Bacon & Associates, provided a detailed overview of the situation and projections for development. It was influential in ensuring that the approach taken was altered to ensure that adequate capacity would still be available while ensuring that the price of accessing landfill was sufficiently high to promote other waste handling methods. Download the full report here
Report of Task Force on Transport and Logistics in Commercial Ports.
Technology in ports has changed along with the demands of industry and the growth of the Irish economy led to indications of delays occurring in this vital cog in Ireland’s competitiveness. The Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources set up a Task Force to examine how well the ports were operating in terms of being an important link in Ireland’s transport infrastructure. KHSK Economic Consultants were engaged to provide information and analysis to the Task Force and to provide the written report to the Minister. While the work identified that the greatest delay occur in landside access rather than within the ports, it was critical of Irish transport policy, in particular the failure at that time to include ports within a specific Department of Transport. This has since been addressed. It also identified deficiencies in port governance and the need to review Irish ports policy and recognise the role of ports in providing essential services and as creators of value. Download the full report here
You can download a full list of consultancy projects by clicking here.