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ANU Crawford School of Public Policy

Behavioural economics of policy design: the why and how of Nudge

One-day short course


1st June 2017


ANU Crawford School of Public Policy



[FULL] Please email to be placed on the waiting list.

This course will look at cognitive biases in behavioural economics and their implications for public policy design. Participants will learn about the methods, risks, and limitations of behavioural economics and the why and how of ‘nudge’ interventions in decision-making.

This module starts with using interactive experiments to introduce cognitive biases and discuss how these biases affect decision making (Kahneman, 2010: Thinking, Fast and Slow) and how this approach has changed Policy Design (Thaler and Sunstein, 2009: Nudge). Based on this we discuss the BE approach to policy evaluation using Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs), Economic Laboratory Experiments, and existing administrative data (Natural Experiments). Potential and Limitations of each of the methods are discussed. We will apply these insights on biases and policy evaluation to challenges faced by the organization of participants developing early stages of a BE intervention and its evaluation. We conclude with a discussion about the policy implications of the BE approach.

Course overview

  • Cognitive Biases and Behavioural Economics: What has changed for Public Policy Design.
  • Methods of Behavioural Economics: The Experimental Approach.
  • Your Challenge: Is BE the right tool? How design and evaluate an intervention.
  • Implications for Public Policy: The rise of Experimental Government and Risks and Limitations of BE.

Course convenor

Professor Uwe Dulleck

Uwe Dulleck is a Professor in Applied Economics at QUT Business School, Economics and Finance and an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University. Prior to joining QUT, Uwe was a Professor of Economics at the University of Linz, Austria and an Assistant Professor at the University of Vienna. Uwe’s research and education expertise spans behavioral economics; economic experiments using biofeedback data; expert services and credence goods; and information economics. His work in these fields is widely published and includes the American Economic Review; Journal of Economic Literature; Economic Journal; Journal of Public Economics; International Journal of Industrial Organization; and the Scandinavian Journal of Economics. His research has been discussed in the Economic Focus of The Economist, Sydney Morning Herald and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (the Sunday edition of Germany’s leading quality newspaper), among others. Uwe is the recipient of several Australian Research Council Grants is a co-investigator on Austrian Research Grants. In 2015 Uwe was the Chairman of the Program Committee for Australia’s Conference of Economists, the leading and largest conference for research and applied economists in Australia. He is an active public commentator on behavioural economics and its applications to public policy, business decision making and regulation.

Course date: 
9.30am–4.30pm 1 June 2017
Venue: #132 Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU
Cost: A$1,350 GST incl; Group discounts applicable

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