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ANU Crawford School of Public Policy

Behavioural economics for policy design

One-day short course


1st November 2016


ANU Crawford School of Public Policy



This course will introduce participants to the basics of behavioural economics and how this approach can assist effective policy design.

Course overview

Participants will experience interactive experiments that reveal common biases in how we think and behave, discuss the implications of such biases for decision making, and learn about the methods of behavioural economics. The course will introduce participants to a range of essential implications of behavioural economics for policy design. At the end of the day, participants will have the opportunity to develop a research idea to apply a behavioural economics approach in their organisation.

Thaler and Sunstein’s book Nudge changed how we think about economic decision making in policy design, building on the work of Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman who documented the systematic biases that humans display in making economic decisions. The fundamental premise for the behavioural economic approach is that the departure from the assumption of human rationality which underpins classical economics has major implications for policy design. In particular, a behavioural economics approach equips policy-makers to implement ‘choice architecture’ to enable consumers to make better decisions for their ‘health, wealth and happiness’.

The course offers insights into the essentials of behavioural economics to evaluate and inform policy design through better understanding the motivations and biases of real people. Those working to influence public behavior and decision making across government, private and not-for-profit sectors will benefit from attending.

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 November 2016
Venue: Crawford School, ANU
Enrol: T 02 6125 2154 E
Cost: $1,100 GST incl; Group discounts applicable

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