Date / Time

10:00 am 28/02/2018 -

12:30 pm 28/02/2018


Abercrombie Building (H70), ABS Seminar Room 2280


The University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW, Australia

The University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW, Australia


Please RSVP to Janelle Kenchington by email:

The School of Economics and the Life Course Centre invite you to attend a mini-workshop with Prof Martin Kocher (University Vienna) and Prof Simon Burgess (University of Bristol) on using behavioural experiments to understand students’ behaviour and implementing behavioural interventions in schools.

Prof Martin G. Kocher is Scientific Director at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna, and Full Professor in Economics at the Department of Economics, University of Vienna. He previously held positions at the University of Munich, QUT Brisbane, the University of East Anglia, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Innsbruck. Prof Kocher published over 50 scientific papers that have been published in major outlets of the professions such as the American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies, Management Science, Economic Journal, among others. Prof Kocher is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Economic Psychology.

Talk title: From economic preference measurement to policy interventions in children’s education
We discuss how to measure economic preferences among children and adolescents. The focus in this context is on the combination of preference measurements and relevant outcomes behaviors outside the laboratory, in particular on how economic preferences can be related to the effects policy interventions. One example is a study (Felfe et al., 2017) that links a policy change in citizenship law to trust, trustworthiness and expectations across native and immigrant children in Germany. Another example is an ongoing project (Albrecht et al., 2018) that analyzes the consequences of potential biases in time preferences for procrastination in assignment, in learning for exams, and in other tasks.

Prof Simon Burgess is a Professor of Economics at the University of Bristol. He serves as the Director of Centre for Market and Public Organisation, Director of ESRC Research Centre and Director of the Centre for Understanding Behaviour Change funded by the UK Department for Education. He has served as Dean of Research of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at Bristol, and as an elected member of the Royal Economic Society’s Council, the Royal Economic Society’s Committee for Women in Economics, and the Board of the European Society of Population Economics. Prof Burgess is a Research Fellow of CEPR and of IZA in Bonn.

Talk title: Using field experiments in schools to understand pupils’ effort and engagement behaviours.
The core of the talk will consider the effects of a large-scale field experiment in schools in England, covering 10,000 pupils. The intervention aimed to increase pupil effort at school using different forms of incentive. We use machine-learning techniques to identify the characteristics of pupils for whom the intervention was very effective, and those for whom it was not. The talk will broaden out to consider two related topics more broadly: (i) socio-emotional skills, behaviour and effort of pupils; and (ii) the use and usefulness of field experiments in schools.