IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Starting a behavioural insights team: Three lessons from the Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government


  • Sarah Ball

    (Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland)

  • Michael Hiscox

    (Harvard University and (former) Research Director, Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government)

  • Tara Oliver

    (Managing Director, Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government)


Applying behavioural economics, science and psychology, a combination sometimes referred to as 'behavioural insights', has become a major force in government in Australia and internationally. Part of applying behavioural insights within government often includes establishing an internal behavioural insights team. This paper outlines some of the experiences of one such team, the Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government (BETA). In the short time since their establishment in 2016, BETA has learned some important lessons which largely align with the importance of finding balance. Balance between garnering support from the top while also building enthusiasm for the work from the ground up; running small-scale trials to build trust while continuing to develop a long-term and sustainable program; and finally being policy-relevant while ensuring academic rigour. In sharing these lessons the authors hope that teams across the public and private sector will find some of these lessons helpful and useful for their own behavioural economics projects more broadly.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarah Ball & Michael Hiscox & Tara Oliver, 2017. "Starting a behavioural insights team: Three lessons from the Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government," Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy, Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE), vol. 1(S), pages 21-26, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:beh:jbepv1:v:1:y:2017:i:s:p:21-26

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Spandagos, Constantine & Yarime, Masaru & Baark, Erik & Ng, Tze Ling, 2020. "“Triple Target” policy framework to influence household energy behavior: Satisfy, strengthen, include," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 269(C).


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:beh:jbepv1:v:1:y:2017:i:s:p:21-26. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: SABE (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.