Crawford School of Public Policy

Behavioural Economics: Concepts, Tools and Applications

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About the course

This two-day 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 the design and implementation of randomised controlled trials as well as laboratory experiments, explain basic statistical methods needed to analyse trial data and provide examples and applications. Special emphasis will be put on the ingredients that are needed to run an effective and informative randomised controlled trial.

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 workshop will cover six main topics:

  • General concepts of behavioural economics
  • Statistical concepts
  • Basic econometric tools
  • How to develop a randomised controlled trial
  • Natural, laboratory and field experiments: evaluation methods of behavioural economics
  • Randomisation and methodological issues
  • Data analysis: examples and applications
  • 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.

Trust the experts

Mathias Sinning

Mathias Sinning is the Deputy Director of the ANU Tax and Transfer Policy Institute. 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 t...


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 ...


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