BETA

The Behavioural Economics Team of Australia (BETA) is the Australian Government’s central research unit dedicated to the application of behavioural economics to improve policy, programme, and administrative design.

BETA was launched in February 2016, with Professor Hiscox as founding Director. BETA's mission is to advance the wellbeing of Australians through the development and rigorous evaluation of new applications of behavioural economics to improve policies, programmes and administrative processes. BETA applies insights from behavioural economics to rethink traditional approaches to design and develop innovative human-centred solutions to problems in a range of key areas, including healthcare, retirement savings, energy conservation, provision of welfare, education, tax payments, and foreign aid.

BETA works collaboratively with partner government agencies to design and deliver behavioural interventions and conduct rigorous randomized controlled trials to evaluate their impact. It seeks, to the greatest extent possible, to be transparent in all its work and apply the highest (academic peer-review) standards for research, including publicly pre-registering every trial (with a detailed analysis plan), subjecting each trial to ethics review, and publishing the results of every trial.

Visit BETA's Homepage

Published BETA Reports and Papers (by Professor Hiscox)

Going Blind to See More Clearly: Unconscious Bias in Australian Public Service Shortlisting Processes. Commonwealth of Australia. (June 2017). With Tara Oliver, Michael Ridgway, Lilia Arcos-Holzinger, Alastair Warren, and Andrea Willis.

Supporting Retirees in Retirement Income Planning. Commonwealth of Australia. (May 2017). With Elizabeth Hobman, Michael Daffey, and Andrew Reeson.

A Guide to Developing Behavioural Interventions for Randomized Controlled Trials: Nine Guiding Questions. Commonwealth of Australia. (September 2016). With Phil Ames.

Registered BETA Trials (Principal Investigator Professor Hiscox)

Hiscox, Michael. 2017. "Credit where it’s due: Reducing credit card debt." AEA RCT Registry. September 12. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2422/history/21353

Hiscox, Michael. 2017. "Reducing Unnecessary Antibiotic Prescriptions." AEA RCT Registry. September 12. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2420/history/21347

Hiscox, Michael. 2017. "Effective use of SMS to encourage timely reporting behaviour using digital channels." AEA RCT Registry. May 10.
https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2210/history/17503

Hiscox, Michael. 2017. "Making it less taxing: Using planning prompts to improve tax compliance amongst businesses." AEA RCT Registry. May 09.
https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2209/history/17464

Hiscox, Michael. 2017. "Making it less taxing: Using email reminders to improve tax compliance amongst businesses ." AEA RCT Registry. May 09.
https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2201/history/17471

Hiscox, Michael. 2017. "Have your pie and complete it too: encouraging survey participation to evaluate social service program outcomes." AEA RCT Registry. May 03.
https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2110/history/17220

Hiscox, Michael. 2017. "Improving tax compliance: deductions for work related expenses in income tax returns filed through tax agents." AEA RCT Registry. March 26.
https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2132/history/15460

Hiscox, Michael. 2017. "Increasing transparency of government processes using SMS messaging." AEA RCT Registry. March 07.
https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2072/history/14770

Hiscox, Michael. 2017. "Energy labels that make cents: A randomised controlled trial to test the effect of appliance energy rating labels." AEA RCT Registry. February 28.
https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2052/history/14471

Hiscox, Michael. 2017. "Building Persistent Compliance with Labour Law: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial." AEA RCT Registry. February 01.
https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1987/history/13691

Hiscox, Michael. 2016. "Consumer Response to New Retirement Income Products: A Test Alternative Methods for Presenting Key Information." AEA RCT Registry. December 02.
https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1795/history/12237

Hiscox, Michael. 2016. "Unconscious Bias in Hiring in the Australian Public Service: Evidence from a Framed Field Experiment in Shortlisting of Job Candidates." AEA RCT Registry. November 22. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1783/history/11939

Other Registered Australia Government Trials (Principal Investigator Professor Hiscox)

Goldstein, Rebecca and Michael J. Hiscox. 2016. "An Evaluation of a School Attendance Program for Remote Australians." AEA RCT Registry. June 18.
https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1655/history/18797

Goldstein, Rebecca and Michael J. Hiscox. 2016. "An Evaluation of a Prisoner Reentry Program for Indigenous Australians (in Western Australia)." AEA RCT Registry. October 18.
https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1604/history/11326

Goldstein, Rebecca and Michael J. Hiscox. 2016. "An Evaluation of a Prisoner Reentry Program for Indigenous Australians (in Queensland)." AEA RCT Registry. October 06.
https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1654/history/11140

Goldstein, Rebecca and Michael J. Hiscox. 2016. "An Evaluation of a Prisoner Reentry Program for Indigenous Australians (in the Northern Territory)." AEA RCT Registry. August 17.
https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1003/history/10202