Behavioural economics

Behavioural economics relates to the impact of psychology on the economic decision-making processes of individuals and institutions. Governments use behavioural economics in policy formation to help improve the design and delivery of public policy by ‘nudging’ individuals and institutions in the desired direction. Using these techniques can improve the effectiveness of government policy and overall value for money.

Some jurisdictions have dedicated behavioural economic units. However, due to the Northern Territory (NT) Government’s relatively small size and fiscal circumstances, the Fiscal Strategy Panel’s final report suggested a more informal approach for the NT, focused on fostering the development of behavioural economics capability in the public service through adopting proven approaches from other jurisdictions.

The Commonwealth Government’s central unit for applying behavioural economics to public policy is the Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government or BETA. BETA have a learn hub including resources and a free online course in behavioural insights for public policy.

The Program Evaluation Unit monitors developments in other jurisdictions and communicates pertinent findings to relevant agencies as well as linking learnings into the program evaluation process. There is an informal group of Northern Territory Government employees which meet to share and discuss relevant resources – new members are always welcome. For further information about behavioural economics in the NT Government, please contact

Last updated: 28 July 2020

Give feedback about this page.

Share this page:

URL copied!