J. Robert Branston

J. Robert Branston
University of Bath | UB · Faculty of Management

BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, SFHEA

About

58
Publications
12,454
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
677
Citations
Citations since 2017
32 Research Items
443 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100
Introduction
J. Robert Branston is an Associate Professor of Business Economics at the University of Bath School of Management.

Publications

Publications (58)
Article
Full-text available
Business regulation is only successful when firms comply. Compliance is determined by several factors, including knowledge-of/attitude-towards regulation, which we suggest consists of both burden and value. Existing literature generally ignores regulatory value and focuses on larger firms in “high-risk” industries. We explore Perceived Own-Firm and...
Article
Full-text available
There is a lack of independent data regarding the illicit tobacco trade in Malaysia. Tobacco Industry (TI) commissioned data has previously been criticised for overestimating the illicit tobacco trade and for a lack of methodological transparency. The aim of this study is to present an independent overview of Malaysia’s illicit tobacco market by me...
Article
Full-text available
Background Many countries have started pursuing tobacco ‘endgame’ goals of creating a ‘tobacco-free’ country by a certain date. Researchers have presented models to attain this goal, including shifting the supply of tobacco to a monopoly-oriented endgame model (MOEM), wherein a state-owned entity controls the supply and distribution of tobacco prod...
Article
Full-text available
Background Between 2010 and 2020, the New Zealand (NZ) Government increased tobacco excise tax by inflation plus 10% each year. We reviewed market structure changes and examined whether NZ tobacco companies shifted excise tax increases to maintain the affordability of lower priced cigarette brands. Methods We cluster-analysed market data that toba...
Article
We contribute to the literature on cluster dynamics to show that the outcome for declining industrial clusters are not necessarily restricted to death or renewal or replacement. We do so by considering upward and downward causation pressures in the evolution of the North Staffordshire’s ceramics cluster and the role of actors, their visions and the...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Taxes on tobacco products are an efficient way of reducing consumption. However, they are only effective if passed on to consumers with higher prices. This study aims to examine tobacco industry (TI) pricing strategies in response to tax increases, and whether they differ by price segments or presentation (packs or individual sticks)...
Article
Full-text available
Background Communication of the relative health risks of IQOS can attract potential consumers, aiding its commercial success. However, health-related claims need to be used cautiously to avoid inaccuracies and attracting non-smokers. We used the live webchat service on the IQOS website to identify information and claims on the relative risks of IQO...
Article
Optimising the taxation of tobacco products should be among the highest priorities for health and hence economic policy in every country. The WHO Technical Manual on Tobacco Tax Policy and Administration released in April 2021 provides invaluable advice, including 26 best practice recommendations on policy design, administrative efficiency and addr...
Article
Full-text available
Background The rules governing tobacco taxation in the European Union (EU) are currently under revision. Earlier research has proposed reforms aimed at stimulating price convergence across countries by linking national minimum taxes to a measure of average prices across the EU. This paper proposes that revised tax rules include an affordability cri...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To explore what is known about the tobacco industry's (TI) price-based responses to tobacco excise tax policies and whether these vary by country income group using a systematic review. Data sources: Studies assessing TI pricing tactics were identified via searches of five online databases using a combination of search keywords. Stud...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims Despite the European Union (EU) Tobacco Tax Directive (TTD), a lack of convergence in EU tobacco prices promotes high levels of cross-border shopping and down-trading from factory-made (FM) to roll-your-own tobacco (RYO) cigarettes. This study presents a blueprint for reform, whereby minimum taxes are related to the overall pric...
Article
In January 2020 the UK left the European Union (EU), although a transition period extends EU rules/regulations until the end of 2020 while a longer-term relationship agreement is negotiated. After almost 50 years of membership the UK economy is tightly integrated into that of the EU single market, and many UK laws and regulations have their origins...
Article
Full-text available
Background Standardised packaging for factory-made cigarettes (FM) and roll-your-own tobacco (RYO), and a minimum excise tax (MET) were fully implemented in the UK in May 2017 following a 12-month transition period. This paper is the first to examine effects on tobacco sales volumes and company revenues. Methods Analysis of UK commercial supermark...
Article
Full-text available
Regulation has traditionally been explored in terms of its negative burden on financial performance. We posit a true assessment should consider both its burden and value, as well as financial and wider performance criteria. This hypothesis is explored in the context of micro-firms using original survey data from the English tourism industry, using...
Article
Background Increasing tobacco prices through taxation is very effective for reducing smoking prevalence and inequalities. For optimum effect, understanding how the tobacco industry and smokers respond is essential. Tobacco taxation changes occurred in the UK over the study period, including annual increases, a shift in structure from ad valorem to...
Article
Background: A key driver of the global tobacco epidemic is the massive profit earned from manufacturing tobacco products despite high levels of product taxation. Two of the four major Transnational Tobacco companies are based in the UK, where there is growing evidence of corporate tax avoidance by transnational firms and where there are calls for...
Article
Full-text available
Background Standardised packaging for factory made (FM) and roll your own (RYO) tobacco was fully implemented in the UK in May 2017. Around the same time, several changes to the tax system were applied (a Minimum Excise Tax (MET) for FM products and tax increases weighted towards RYO products). The tobacco industry claims that standardised packagin...
Article
Researchers using survey-based methods must do everything they can to enhance their response rates in order to improve the robustness and validity of the data they collect for analysis. Extant literature has explored several techniques to do this across many contexts, including experiments/meta-analyses. This paper addresses two particular deficits...
Article
Background Standardised packaging for factory made and roll your own tobacco was implemented in the UK in May, 2017, alongside a minimum excise tax for factory made products. As other jurisdictions attempt to implement standardised packaging, the tobacco industry continues to suggest that it would be counterproductive, in part by leading to falls i...
Article
Full-text available
Background Tobacco companies claim that higher taxes will force smokers into buying illicit tobacco, but if they were truly concerned about increasing illicit sales with higher prices they would only increase retail prices in line with changes in taxation. In this paper, we explore UK pricing of both factory-made cigarettes (FM) and roll-your-own t...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction This study aims to analyse the non-tax-induced price increasing strategies adopted by tobacco industry in Taiwan, a high-income country with comprehensive tobacco control policies but low tobacco taxes and a declining cigarette market. Methods Using governmental tax, price and inflation data, we analysed cigarette sales volume, afford...
Article
Background: A key driver of the global tobacco epidemic is the massive profit earned from manufacturing tobacco products despite high levels of product taxation. Two of the four major Transnational Tobacco companies are based in the UK, where there is growing evidence of corporate tax avoidance by transnational firms and where there are calls for t...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Roll-Your-Own tobacco (RYO) use is increasingly popular in many countries: it is generally cheaper than factory-made cigarettes (FM), and smokers can further reduce costs by adjusting the amount of tobacco in each cigarette. However, the level of risk of RYO compared with FM cigarettes is similar and does not meaningfully change with c...
Article
Full-text available
Objective The existing measures of tobacco affordability (smokers' purchasing power for tobacco) use national estimates of income and average cigarette prices, and exclude roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco. This study developed an individualised measure of tobacco affordability using smokers' own incomes and factory-made (FM) or RYO tobacco purchase pric...
Article
To avoid breaking the law for regulatory non‐compliance, it is essential that micro‐firm owner‐managers are aware of deficiencies in their knowledge, so that they can seek improvement and avoid over‐confidence (i.e. hubris) in their knowledge levels. Using newly collected survey data from micro‐firms in the English accommodation sector and multivar...
Article
Background Tobacco, like many other harm inducing products such as alcohol and unhealthy/sugary food, is mainly manufactured and supplied by profit seeking private enterprise. Such companies have a strong incentive to expand existing markets to increase profits at the expense of public health. Traditionally the objective of market interventions is...
Article
Background The tobacco industry (TI) can undermine the public health gains realised from tobacco taxation through its pricing strategies. This study aims to examine contemporary TI pricing strategies in the UK and the implications for tobacco tax policy. Methods Review of commercial and TI literature, and analysis of 2009 to 2015 Nielsen Scantrak...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Taxation equitably reduces smoking, the leading cause of health inequalities. The tobacco industry (TI) can, however, undermine the public health gains realised from tobacco taxation through its pricing strategies. This study aims to examine contemporary TI pricing strategies in the UK and implications for tobacco tax policy. Design Revi...
Article
This paper explores the link between local governance structures and the ability of local firms to influence the strategic direction (and future development) of their industrial district. In doing so we utilise unique survey data from two British industrial districts to first examine the extent to which local firms shape local industrial developmen...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Raising tobacco prices is the most effective population-level intervention for reducing smoking, but this is undermined by the availability of cheap tobacco. This study monitors trends in cheap tobacco use among adult smokers in the UK between 2002-2014 via changes in product type, purchase source, and prices paid. Methods: Weighte...
Article
Governance and social capital are significant components in the management and operation of agricultural value chains. We explore these related concepts by examining the regulator (COCOBOD) farmer dyad within the (Ghanaian) cocoa value chain, using unique survey and interview data from 300 Ghanaian cocoa farmers. Utilising this data, we construct m...
Research
Recent policy initiatives in the UK have sought to place greater emphasis upon private sector actors engaging in local governance processes and hence shaping local economic development paths. Using unique survey data from two UK industrial districts we explore the extent to which local firms exert influence over local development strategies, and by...
Research
Full-text available
Using unique survey and interview data, we investigate local buzz and global buzz (from temporary translocal events e.g. trade fairs) and their correlation with the innovative performance of firms in a mature British ceramics industrial cluster. Like other studies we confirm that the cluster’s indigenous local buzz has a positive and significant im...
Article
The provision of the extraordinarily deadly product of cigarettes is dominated by a small number of large and incredibly profitable shareholder owned companies that are focussed on cigarettes. The legal duty of their managers to maximise shareholder wealth means that such companies vigorously fight any new public health measures that have the poten...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Using available financial information, this report develops a series of profit estimates for the firms operating in the Irish tobacco market which show they are significantly more profitable than other European consumer staple companies. Between 2010 and 2012 the industry is found to have earned more than €110m annually in profits, and it could qui...
Technical Report
Full-text available
We have previously pointed towards the extreme profitability of the UK tobacco manufacturing/import market (henceforth tobacco market) when suggesting that the public interest would be served by regulating tobacco companies using utility company style pricecaps (Gilmore et al.,2010; Branston and Gilmore, 2014). The profitability of the tobacco indu...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing upon the evolutionary geography literature, we analyse how the North Staffordshire ceramics industrial district has begun to reverse a phase of ‘long decline’ (1979–2008). Our analysis is based upon a series of interviews with 25 Senior Managers from within the district. We document how the district has purposively begun to exploit its trad...
Article
Full-text available
While the onset of recession may lead some oligopolistic firms to engage in price-cutting behavior, we argue this is likely to be only a temporary phenomenon. As the recession deepens, firms will find themselves with (unplanned) excess capacity, which will increase the mutual benefits of collusion and hence the degree of monopoly is likely to rise....
Article
Full-text available
Over the last 30 years, UK beer sales have been falling while the market itself has experienced a dynamic shift from on-trade to off-trade sales. This article provides estimates of the long-run price, cross price and income elasticities, for both on- and off-trade beer consumption. The results shed light on the changing UK beer market, while also h...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: A system of price-cap regulation has previously been suggested to address the market failure inherent to the tobacco industry. This would benefit public health directly (eg, by making it extremely difficult for the industry to sell cut-price cigarettes, or use price as a marketing strategy) and indirectly (eg, by reducing the available...
Article
Full-text available
Analysis of the recent financial crisis has tended to focus upon “market” and corresponding “regulatory” failures. While this provides important insights, it may neglect deeper issues at the root of recent problems. In this paper, we take a broader perspective, drawing upon the stategic choice approach to the theory of the firm (Cowling and Sugden,...
Article
Full-text available
Mainstream economic theory outlines four main causes of market failure and it is already well established that two of these (information failure and externalities) exist in a tobacco market. A third cause of market failure, market power, is also a serious problem in many tobacco markets. Market power--combined with unintended and often overlooked c...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Corporate governance has long been a concern for industrial economists but not typically a centrepiece of policy. One reason is that policy design has been based on a market‐orientated approach to the theory and impact of the firm. In contrast, this paper is rooted in a strategic decision‐making perspective that makes corporate governance...
Article
Full-text available
Applying a strategic decision-making perspective on the economics of business, we suggest that a competitive locality in the health industry is one that, relative to other localities, is effective in: (1) providing the healthcare that enables everyone to participate fully in the democratic development of the locality; (2) providing the healthcare t...
Article
Full-text available
Privatisation is a fundamental issue for both 'developed' and 'less developed' countries. Many see it as a requirement for access to a globalised economy, and furthermore imply that countries have no room for manoeuvre when it comes to ensuring that privatisation takes place. However, we would argue that a mere requirement leaves options for how pr...
Article
Full-text available
A theory of the firm based on strategic decision-making highlights governance as a central issue. Preferences vary over strategy but not all interests are currently being represented, resulting in a failure to govern in the public interest. As solutions, we consider the design of company law and also more immediate ways forward, focusing on regulat...
Article
This paper presents a focused analysis of the role of entrants into the electricity generation market since privatisation. It examines subsequent developments in the market and in the industry's structure and performance. The analysis draws heavily upon new information gained from telephone interviews with many of those involved with the so-called...
Article
The aim of this paper is to challenge the widely held view that electricity privatisation in Great Britain (comprised of the markets of England and Wales, and Scotland) was beneficial simply because the price of electricity has subsequently fallen in real terms. This is carried out by comparing the electricity prices actually observed with those th...

Network

Cited By