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Public lecture
How can instinctive preferences improve policy outcomes?

Why do people in some countries donate organs more than in others? Why do we not save enough for retirement even when we can afford to? Why don’t we buy energy efficient appliances that save us money in the long run? How can more people be encouraged to live healthily?

Around the world, policy makers have begun to pay attention to the growing field of behavioural economics. Instead of assuming that citizens are the rational, interest maximising agents of economics textbooks, behavioural economics starts with the more realistic assumption that people are shaped by cognitive biases, complications and limitations. Our rationality, self-control and self-interest are all bounded in ways that have implications for the way we design and implement public policies.

In this seminar John Daley will discuss with Donald Low how behavioural economics can be applied to the design of public policy.

Donald Low worked for 15 years in the Singapore Government, where he was formerly Director of the Strategic Policy Office in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Director of Fiscal Policy at the Ministry of Finance. Last year he co-wrote Behavioural Economics and Policy Design: Examples from Singapore, a pioneering book that shows how the Singapore Government has used insights from behavioural economics in the development of public policy.

John Daley, Grattan’s CEO, is one of Australia’s leading public policy thinkers, with 20 years experience in the public, private and university sectors. His current research and publishing interests include government prioritisation, the objectives and limits of government and the situations in which government intervention is justified.

Register online

Speaker/Host: Donald Low - Founder, Centre for Public Economics Singapore
Venue: Weston Theatre JG Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU
Date: Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Time: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Website: anu.edu.au/publiclectures
Enquiries: Lucy Guest on 6125 3549

Donald Low
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