Behavioural Economics & Research Team (BERT)

Page last updated: 22 June 2018

About the team

We are subject matter experts in behavioural theories and scientific research principles. We focus on developing novel, cost-effective solutions to compliance and policy related issues.

The Behavioural Economics and Research Team work within the Provider Benefits Integrity Division (PBID) and are subject matter experts in behavioural theories and scientific research principles. The team uses Behavioural Economics to gain a better understanding of how people behave and we seek to incorporate behavioural sciences into government interventions to improve policy and program outcomes.

Teams like BERT are often called 'nudge' units because they scientifically design low-cost methods to improve policy and interventions by taking into account human behaviour.

We work collaboratively with our partners to define the problem, as well as the desired outcome and we then seek to:
  • Understand the issue and context - identify exactly what behaviours we want to change, determine the influences on that behaviour and the barriers to its change.
  • Design intervention - we draw on fieldwork findings, academic research and behavioural frameworks to develop interventions.
  • Test, learn, adapt - use robust evaluation, including randomised controlled trials, to determine the effectiveness of interventions.

Our work

Nudge vs Superbugs: A behavioural economics trial to reduce the overprescribing of antibiotics June 2018

Antimicrobial resistance is one of the biggest threats to human health today. BERT in collaboration with the Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government (BETA) implemented a behaviourally-informed intervention to reduce prescriptions of antibiotics by high-prescribing General Practitioners (GPs) when appropriate and safe to do so.