Behavioural economics: concepts, tools and applications

Crawford School of Public Policy | Executive course
Economics, Data Analysis and Decision Making


This course will provide an introduction to the methods used in behavioural economics. After an introduction to the basic concept of an experimental approach and why it may be needed to enable government and researchers to evaluate policy interventions, this course will explain the foundations of causal analysis, discuss important statistical concepts relevant for design and implementation of randomised controlled trials. Laboratory experiments, basic statistical methods needed to analyse trial data and provide examples and applications will also be examined. Special emphasis will be put on the ingredients that are needed to run an effective and informative randomised controlled trial

Course date: 
9.30am–4.30pm 8 May 2019
9.30am–4.30pm 9 May 2019
#132 Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Course overview

The course will provide participants with the knowledge they require to understand general concepts of behavioural economics and to apply basic statistical tools to trial design, implementation and data analysis. The course will combine intuitive explanations with practical examples. It will involve basic mathematical and statistical concepts that will be explained as part of the course. The course is suitable for beginners and as a refresher for those with a basic statistics background.

The course will cover eight main topics:

  1. General concepts of behavioural economics
  2. Statistical concepts
  3. Basic econometric tools
  4. How to develop a randomised controlled trial
  5. Natural, laboratory and field experiments: evaluation methods of behavioural economics
  6. Randomisation and methodological issues
  7. Data analysis: examples and applications
  8. Lab experiments: examples and applications

The first day of this course will give an introduction to some general concepts of behavioural economics, provide an overview of important statistical concepts and discuss practical challenges related to trial design and implementation. The second day will provide an introduction to important econometric tools required to analyse experimental and non-experimental data and discuss examples and applications.

Course presenter(s)

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.

Associate Professor Mathias Sinning

Mathias Sinning is an Associate Professor at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy. He has previously held academic appointments at the ANU and the University of Queensland and has been a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University. Mathias is interested in the empirical analysis of issues related to labor economics, public economics and policy evaluation. He has published empirical research in a wide range of international peer-reviewed journals, including Economics of Education Review, Economic Inquiry, Health Economics, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Population Economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics and Review of Income and Wealth. Mathias has extensive experience in testing hypotheses from behavioral economics by designing and implementing randomised controlled field trials in collaboration with government departments.

Updated:  16 September 2019/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team