With Facebook and Google revolutionising news consumption and advertising, the debate over media ownership rules is stopping a far more important cons
We recently moved our readers to a new system. You may need to reset your password here to login.
Not a member ? Join here for free.
Forgot your password?
Home Features Nothing but nudges: behavioural economics comes of age
Text size :
PEOPLEJeremy Heywood, Rory Gallagher
DEPARTMENTSDepartment of Employment
TAGS NSW, NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, economics, science, nudge, behavioural, insights, BIT, behavioural insights unit
Nudges have taken the public sector by storm, expanding all over government. One of their chief promoters around the world is confident they aren’t a passing fad, but warns against complacency and overuse.
Nudges are the next big thing in public services, and Australian public servants are among the most enthusiastic adopters of the behavioural sciences.
It’s been a bumper year for the Behavioural Insights Team, an unusual company that started life in 2010 as an appendage of the United Kingdom Cabinet Office and is now exporting nudge theory to the world. It’s set up shop in Australia, the Americas and most recently Singapore, two years since it became a business owned jointly by the UK government, staff members and Nesta, an innovation-focused charitable foundation.
Rory Gallagher, who came to work for the New South Wales government as a civil servant on secondment in 2012 to help set up Australia’s first nudge unit, is now BIT’s Asia-Pacific managing director. He still works with the NSW agency a couple of days a week and according to the report, it’s been the company’s “longest and most impactful” partnership in its brief history.
The NSW administration “took a punt, to some extent” by signing up as BIT’s first international partner, Gallagher told The Mandarin. “But they’ve done a huge amount since then; they now have a team of about a dozen people applying this across the sector.”
Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.
The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.
Stephen Easton is a journalist at The Mandarin based in Canberra. He's previously reported for Canberra CityNews and worked on industry titles for The Intermedia Group.
Read Related Content
…now add data, lots of it, and opaque analytics, and we begin to head into uncharted waters wrt to individual agency and capacity for democratic participation. The trajectory is a given. We would do well to not blindly stumble into this future. A good start might be to check out Karen Yeung’s work on “hypernudge” is one of an all too few attempts to bring together a cross disciplinary perspective… http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2807574 & http://law.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/1880136/2016_Karen-Yeung_Big-Data-as-Hypernudge-slides.pdf
If well-established insights from psychology and sociology can become assimilated into economics by badging them ‘behavioural economics’, then it’s all to the good.