So you have a great idea about how you could change people’s behaviour. You want to go ahead and test your idea out, but you don’t know if people will respond to the intervention, or if it will have the impact you hope. Rather than going ahead and investing heavily in a field trial, you could use an economic experiment to test your idea first.
Since 2013, the Behavioural Insights Unit (BIU) has been running Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) to test whether our ideas result in behaviour change in the real world. RCTs are the gold standard of evidence. They allow us to test the effectiveness of an intervention compared to if we had changed nothing.
The Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government (BETA) has released a guide to developing and testing behavioural interventions using randomised controlled trials (RCTs).
Lessons in practical applications of BI from the health domain.
We started working with the Behavioural Insights Unit (BIU) to increase the compliance effectiveness with respect to our fines, tax and debt recovery businesses. We conducted various trials to robustly understand the value of BI, one of which was for our land tax legal notices. Here are the details of the trial.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been using insights from behavioural science to trial different ways of getting people to pay their fines and lodge their tax forms on time.