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

Crawford School of Public Policy | Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis

Event details

Executive Education

Date & time

Monday 26 October 2020 to Saturday 31 October 2020


Online and distance


Professor Uwe Dulleck


Isobella Fry
02 6125 2154

What if you could help people make good life decisions through a little ‘nudge’? As policymakers, encouraging people to make the right choices about their health, wealth and overall well-being can be challenging. In this course, you will learn about the cognitive biases we all bring to decisions and how you can use ‘nudge’ theory in policy design to make better choices.

This course will explain why the theory behind ‘Nudging’ - behavioural economics - provides a new way to look at public policy questions. It will also explain how the approach is and has been used in the public service and what opportunities there are for you to use them in your policy-making and evaluation.

We also examine the behavioural economics approach to policy evaluation. Which methods work best in a policy environment? What are the differences between randomised controlled trials and natural experiments? How can you use existing administrative data to evaluate policy?

Cost: Before 14 October 2020: $1,195

After 15 October 2020: $1,495

Group discounts available.

Apply now

Course overview Cognitive biases and behavioural economics: What has changed for public policy design. In this session you will experience some cognitive biases in your own decisions and part take in experiments, introducing you not only to the prevalence of biases in day to day life but also to understand the value of evidence based on experiments. Your challenge: Is behavioural economics the right tool? How to design and evaluate an intervention. In this section we will dive deeper into the UK BIT teams approach into applying behavioural economics. We will cover the EAST approach and apply it your challenges. Methods of behavioural economics: the experimental approach. Applying behavioural economics as an evaluation methods is not only helpful to evaluate newly designed policies but can also provide insights into understanding the role behavioural biases play by analysing existing data or using computer based experiments. We will cover these different approaches, discuss strength and weaknesses and consider applicability to your challenges. Implications for public policy: the rise of experimental government and the risks and limitations of behavioural economics. This session will try to look into the future and discuss political and ethical risks. The discussion relies on experiences from the US and the UK as well as Australia.

Course structure:

This course utilises a series of handouts and video presentations alongside lecture and facilitation to embed learnings.

Learning outcomes:

Understanding of how Behavioural Economics can help in policy development and policy evaluation - where is it different (new), what can it achieve. Introduction to the EAST approach - development of basic knowledge to develop a Behavioural Economic intervention for the workplace. Basic understanding of the limitations of the approach.

Anticipated behavioural and business impacts include:

Participants will get an introduction to identify potential applications of Behavioural Economics in the their work context, they will be able to have a first discussion about possible behavioural economics informed policy solutions and consider how to evaluate outcomes. Participants will also learn about their own biases and how they affect their decision making.

Who should attend?

APS, Not-for-profit and Private sector No prerequisites required. General experience with public policy is useful, as would be a formal education in economics, law or psychology, but experience in the sector and a policy issue that participants want to tackle are all that is necessary.

Online training: How it works

This is a real-time, date-specific course, in which you will join live classes, engage and connect with experts, other course participants and the Executive Education team. Here’s how it works:

  • Pre-course live session. This is an opportunity for you to grab a cuppa and join our meet and greet before the course commences.
  • Practice + Study. Set aside up to 2 hours per day – this time commitment will vary depending on how deeply you choose to engage with the material. It is up to you.
  • Course pack. Each participant will receive a carefully curated workbook, which includes everything you need to guide you through the course.
  • Live sessions with presenter. This is a specified date and time for you to come together with the presenter and other participants to consolidate your learning.
  • Post-course. On completion of the course, you will receive your post-course resources for your reference and further learning.

Why choose online training?

  • No time off work – study and practice when you can.
  • Busy schedule? No problem, you can go at your own pace, join just the live classes, and do the course work whenever suits you best. We know that work and family obligations can be overwhelming. Mix and match the schedule to fit your life.
  • No travel. This is a course right at your fingertips. With no travel expenses, this is a very affordable option for high-level training with world-leading experts.
  • Live interaction with world-leading experts. You’ll have direct access to all the best resources and trainers.
  • Working remotely? With the online and distance format, we welcome participants from around the world to join us.


What if I can’t make a live session? No problem, we understand you are busy. Live sessions are recorded and transcribed for you to catch up in your own time.

What if I’m in a different time zone? All advertised course times are scheduled in Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) otherwise known as GMT+11. Convert for your time zone here.

What if I am not tech savvy? As long as you have access to a phone or computer, you’ll have no problems. This is a low-tech course designed for everyone. If needed our team is here to help – contact us at

What if I have questions? We would love to hear from you. Contact our team at

Updated:  20 October 2020/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team