Senior Economist

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Office of Rail and Road

London, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, York, Glasgow

Application Deadline
£50,810 to57,149

Contract Type: Permanent

Salary: London: £54,891 to £57,149 Hours/FTE Full Time | Regional: £50,810 to £53,111

Grade Grade: C (equivalent to Civil Service Grade 7)

Location: London, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, York, Glasgow

Reports To: Head of Incentives and Reform. Direct Report(s) 1

Directorate: Economics, Market & Strategy

Team: Regulatory Economics

Team information

ORR’s Regulatory Economics team is a mixed-discipline team working on a diverse range of economic and policy issues, concerned both with leading development of rail policy and providing specialist advice

Job Purpose

The Regulatory Economics team works on a diverse set of economic issues, providing rigorous analysis to underpin the development of policy and support decision-making. Much of our work is directed at the regulation of Network Rail, including designing the regimes for access charges and incentive payments; and conducting cost analysis, benchmarking it against comparator companies and analysing its efficiency. We also advise teams across ORR on economic matters relating to track, station or depot access, such as the impact new rail services proposed by train operators may have on relevant markets and assessing access disputes. Your work is likely to contribute to the 2023 periodic review of Network Rail (PR23).

Essential Requirements

In this specific role within the team, you will:

  • Lead on the design of incentive mechanisms that encourage Network Rail and train operators to make the right decisions in the interests of railway users.
  • Provide economic advice to internal and external stakeholders on the development of the future charging and performance incentives framework governing Great British Railways.
  • Contribute to development of charging and incentive frameworks for High Speed 2. Manage reviews of charges and incentives for existing infrastructure managers such as High Speed 1, Eurotunnel, Crossrail and Core Valley Lines.
  • Represent ORR externally, for example on the International Regulators Group and in the wider rail economics community.

You could also have the opportunity to contribute to the team’s wider work, for example:

  • Design individual track access charges that help incentivise effective infrastructure management.
  • Apply econometric analysis to understand the key factors that drive infrastructure costs, efficiency and quality of service, and use this information to ensure that monopoly rail bodies are as efficient as they can be.
  • Use economic models and empirical evidence to predict the behaviour of users and determine the value created by new train service proposals.

Colleagues at this level are generally expected to:

  • Produce written reports, briefing notes and committee papers;
  • Present analysis, proposals and recommendations to internal and external audiences;
  • Commission and oversee consultancy projects; and
  • Contribute to team development through line management, knowledge dissemination and recruitment.

You will be encouraged to develop your economic and other professional skills: ORR is committed to personal development, and you will have attractive training opportunities to help you develop your career.

This job description provides an overview of key duties and responsibilities and is not exhaustive. You may be expected to undertake other duties and responsibilities within the scope of your role and as appropriate for your grade.

Essential Criteria

When assessing your application, these are the criteria that you are assessed against:


  • Making effective decisions
  • Communicating and influencing
  • Leadership


  • Working as an applied economist, ideally in a policy, government, regulatory, competition or infrastructure context.


  • Application of knowledge: a good understanding of, and ability to apply, economic principles to policy issues.
  • Planning and managing projects

Mandatory Qualifications

  • Degree in economics or a discipline with a substantial quantitative component.

How we will assess your application

To apply, please complete our application form. In the ‘supporting statement’ box, please structure your statement to explain how you meet each of the Behaviours, Experience and Technical Skills criteria listed above.

Your examples can come from work experience, academic exercises and/or extra-curricular activities.

We will assess you against the behaviours, technical and experience criteria when sifting. If there is a large number of applications we may conduct an initial pre-sift based on the lead behaviour for this role which is ‘making effective decisions’. Successful candidates at the pre-sifting stage will then progress to the next stage.

At interview stage we will assess you against all essential criteria. At interview stage, we are also likely to request that you provide a presentation or undertake a desk exercise – further details of this will be provided if we invite you to interview.

We expect interviews to take place in late May 2022.


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