Executive MPA   Executive training  

'Nudging' and experimental policy evaluation

20-22 January 2022 | Executive seminar

Recognising that human behaviour systematically deviates from the notion of a rational, selfish homo oeconomicus opens the door for alternative behavioural approaches to policymaking: ‘Nudging’. Nudges – small interventions that build on behavioural science rather than economic incentives – have quickly entered the toolkit of modern policymakers and public managers. Most visibly, this is reflected in the emergence of different ‘nudge units’, institutions that design and test policies using randomized control trials (RCTs).

This course introduces students to nudging and provides an overview of successful nudges in the public and the private sectors. Participants will improve their understanding of the behavioural economics and psychology behind nudging and learn how minor changes in the choice architecture can influence decisions. Critical normative perspectives on nudging are also covered.

The second main topic is the application of experimental policy evaluation methods (RCTs) which are closely related to the rise of nudging. The course will familiarise participants with the major dos and don'ts of drafting RCTs. Participants will gain experience in an increasingly crucial pillar of evidence-based policymaking and will be able to distinguish informative from misguiding evidence.

This seminar is offered as part of the Executive MPA programme and in the open enrolment programme.