Behavioural Economics


what is behavioural economics?

Behavioural economics (also referred to as experimental economics) is the use of experimental methods with monetary incentives to evaluate theoretical predictions of human behaviour. It uses controlled, scientifically-designed experiments to test human behaviour. Experimental economic research offers the advantage of an immediate observation of people’s decisions. The incentivised research method leads to reliable prognoses of human behaviour.

the purpose of the tag

The purpose of this TAG is to support companies, businesses, and institutions achieve their objectives using lessons and tools from behavioural economics, such as nudges. 

A “nudge” is: “any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people's behaviour in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives.” (Thaler and Sunstein (2008))

We use a theoretically grounded and empirically validated understanding of human behaviour to effect change. Using our methods, we can increase employees' engagement and productivity, customer retention, and stakeholder’s satisfaction and contributions.

How can we use nudges to persuade line managers to take meaningful action planning seriously, at the same time as being engaging leaders? (This would include talking to their people one to one, setting challenging targets but refrain bully etc.)

The question would also refer to managers enabling employees’ voice, and ensuring they understand the strategic narrative.  How do we persuade, through nudges, senior leaders to do more than pay lip service?

If you're interested in joining this TAG, please get in touch by clicking on the 'contact' tab below.


We will build tailored interventions to improve coordination, motivation, engagement and cooperation in organisations with employees from diverse backgrounds. As a Thought and Action Group, we plan to  work with individual organisations and/or into and across other TAGs. Experiments (or simulations)  will focus on key engagement issues. For example:

  • How leadership styles improve engagement, cooperation and motivation
  • How employees can be more productive via nudges
  • What is the trust level towards employees and employers towards each other and towards the company and how to increase trust?
  • How much loyalty of customers and employees towards the company exists and how to increase loyalty
  • How to increase employees’ happiness and how this translates to higher engagement and work motivation

Our objectives

This TAG aims to:

  • Undertake Behavioural Economics Research to support businesses, companies, institutions, private and public sector.
  • Develop an applied Behavioural Economics Community.
Our team is led by Thorsten Chumra, a professor in experimental and behavioural economics at Nottingham Business School (NTU). We will conduct a series of experiments to measure participants’ personal preferences towards risk, trust, time, honesty, pro-social behaviour and equity. In addition, we will also investigate participants strategic behaviour including; coordination, fairness, cooperation, preferences, and beliefs when interacting with them. We will measure perceptions and misperceptions towards other groups and individuals, but also in-group preferences. We will measure perceptions and misperceptions towards other groups and individuals, but also in-group preferences. The behavioural toolbox allows us to tailor individual experiments to address questions raised by organisations.

get involved

The Behavioural Economics TAG is currently running a pilot within a large public sector department to examine and build levels of trust. The pilot has been approved by NTU Ethics Committee. Findings can be anonymised if desired.

The TAG is looking to work with different organisations. We will hold a series of workshops where we will present our research approach and provide insight into possible applications. 

To find out more or to get involved in the TAG research activities please click on the 'contact' tab below.
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