"Nudging" and Experimental Policy Evaluation

2-4 March 2017

During the last decade, "nudges" have quickly entered the toolbox of modern policy makers and public managers. This is most visibly reflected in the emergence of different `Nudge Units’, institutions that design and test policies using Randomised Control Trials (RCTs).

This course provides an overview of successful "nudges" in the public and the private sector. Participants improve their understanding of behavioural economics and the 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 RCTs: experimental policy evaluation methods. The course will familiarise participants with major dos and don'ts in drafting their own RCTs. They gain experience with an increasingly crucial pillar of evidence-based policy making and will be able to distinguish informative from misguiding evidence.

This course can also be completed as part of the Certificate in Public Financial Management and Methods, the Certificate in Public Sector Innovation, or the Hertie School - ESCP Europe Certificate Strategy and Decision-Making in Business, Politics and Society.

Seminar Director

Prof. Dr. Christian  Traxler Hertie School of Governance
Professor of Economics (currently on sabbatical)

Target group

Professionals from all sectors (public, private, and from NGOs)


  • Higher education degree
  • At least two years of relevant professional experience (average is ten years)
  • Good knowledge of English


  • 2.5 days in Berlin, as well as additional time for the preparation of the seminar
  • No follow-up assignment is required

Seminar times

  • Day 1: 11:00 - 20:00
  • Day 2:   9:00 - 18:00
  • Day 3:   9:00 - 16:00

Seminar fee

€ 1,690

Seminar fees are exempted from tax according to Value Added Tax Act (UStG) §4 Nr. 21a. In Germany and many other countries, tuition fees for continuing education programmes are also fully tax-deductible as professional training expenses.

Seminar fee includes: attendance, online access to course documents, materials during the seminar, beverages in the Hertie School cafeteria (open on weekdays), certificate of attendance. 

Terms and Conditions

Registration is possible throughout the year, on a first-come, first-serve basis via our online application module. Admission is subject to availability.

Register now