About Us > Origins and ethos
Origins and ethos
Our mission is to provide rigorous, accessible and relevant independent economic analysis to support strategic planners and policy-makers in business and government, doing work that we are interested in and can be proud of.
We are a consultancy, and our projects are commissioned by clients, but we do not undertake advocacy work to make a case for the client. Rather, we analyse and present evidence as objectively as we can. We do not select evidence to make a case to order, but we do select from the results of our analysis to present the key messages that we think the evidence supports. Our work is often used by clients, whether in government or outside of it, as part of an evidence base from which to argue for particular policies, and our work may be cited selectively as that case is made. We take responsibility for the analysis that we provide; those who cite from the work are responsible for how they use it. That distinction is not always made clear in the way that our analysis is cited, but we do our best to maintain it.
The company is a trading subsidiary of a charity, the Cambridge Trust for New Thinking in Economics, which receives income from the company to pursue its registered objects. The charity guarantees the independence of the company, and has the following objects:
'The Charity is established to advance education in the field of economics for the benefit of the public, with particular regard to the following principles:
(a) that economic behaviour is primarily social rather than individual;
(b) that economic behaviour is influenced by aesthetic and ethical values as well as economic values: and
(c) that the pursuit of self-interest in economic behaviour can impact adversely on both society and the environment.
In particular, the Charity is to educate the public in developing practices and policies that recognise and redress the adverse effects that arise from lack of awareness of the principles stated above.'
The company was established in 1978 to provide commercial access to research in the University of Cambridge, in particular to the work carried out in developing the Cambridge Multisectoral Dynamic Model of the British economy (MDM). Its first honorary president was Prof Sir Richard Stone, Nobel Laureate in Economics for his pioneering work in the development of the international system of national accounts, which remains fundamental to our large-scale economic models. Cambridge Econometrics has always been supported by the commercial success of its forecasting and analysis services. In 1985, there was a management buy-out in which it became a private limited company. It took over responsibility for MDM, which represents a distinctive and independent alternative to the official models. In 2006, control of the company passed to the charitable trust referred to above.
Since its founding, the company has provided one of the most detailed industrial forecasting services available for the UK economy. Our work has now expanded to cover regional and local forecasts for the UK, industrial and regional forecasts for Europe, and energy-economy-environment analysis and forecasts for the UK and Europe, as well as modelling work for individual clients.
We undertake modelling analysis for the European Commission and for overseas governments and organisations. And we provide training courses in the application of econometric methods to business and policy analysis.