BETA registered trials

Our current and recently completed trials are listed below. Unless otherwise indicated, all trials are located within Australia and are Commonwealth Government projects.

If you have ideas about trials that would advance the policy priorities of government and improve wellbeing, you can email us at beta@pmc.gov.au.

Reducing unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions

16th October 2017

BETA is working with the Department of Health to evaluate the effectiveness of a behaviourally-informed approach to reducing unnecessary prescriptions of antibiotics by General Practitioners (GPs).


Simplifying energy fact sheets to improve consumer understanding

23rd November 2017

BETA will prepare advice on the design of energy price fact sheets. Fact sheets aim to help consumers compare energy plans. Behaviourally informed designs may also improve consumer comprehension, clarity, and ease of decision-making with regard to household energy choices. This is a mixed methods study, constituted of a framed field experiment and qualitative focus groups. 

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Credit where it’s due: Reducing credit card debt

19th July 2017

Many behavioural biases can cause people to make sub-optimal financial decisions and in the case of credit cards, lead to consumers carrying higher debt than intended. Reflecting this, the Government has proposed a number of reforms for consumer testing, including improved electronic notifications regarding credit use and proactively contacting consumers making small repayments.

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Making it less taxing - better compliance with deferred GST

5th May 2017

The Deferred GST scheme allows businesses to defer the payment of GST on taxable imports to help manage their cash flow position. In order to remain on the scheme businesses must continue to meet all of their tax obligations. This includes lodging a monthly activity statement and being up to date on any payments due to the ATO.

At any given time, a proportion of businesses on the scheme are non‑compliant. Addressing this non-compliance creates additional work for the ATO and leads to higher levels of outstanding tax debt. 

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Effective use of SMS to encourage timely reporting behaviour using digital channels

1st May 2017

The aim of the study is to examine whether providing targeted, timely and behaviourally informed prompts about reporting income, via SMS, improves the number of recipients who report on time.

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Encouraging survey participation to evaluate social service program outcomes

30th March 2017

Data Exchange (DEX) is the Department of Social Services’ (DSS) approach to collecting and storing program performance data. The intention of DEX is to shift the focus of performance measurement from outputs to more meaningful information about service delivery outcomes. A DEX survey is offered to clients both at the beginning and end of various services they receive from DSS.

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Improving tax compliance: deductions for work related expenses in income tax returns filed through tax agents

10th March 2017

Australians can claim income tax deductions when they incur costs in the course of earning income (e.g., vehicle and other work-related travel costs). Work related expenses are the most common deduction claimed by Australians. In 2014-15 total claims amounted to a total of $21 billion.

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Improving government confirmation processes using SMS

3rd March 2017

Parents within the Child Support Program can apply for a Change of Assessment (CoA) when they experience a change in their circumstances that might affect their child support payments or entitlements. This is done by lodging an application with the Department of Human Services (DHS).

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Energy labels that make cents: A randomised controlled trial to test the effect of appliance energy rating labels

27th February 2017

When combined, relatively small inefficiencies in Australia’s household appliances market have the potential to generate large welfare losses for individuals and significant damage to the environment. Reducing household energy consumption is a key component to boosting Australia’s energy productivity.

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Building Persistent Compliance with Labour Law: Evidence from a Randomised Controlled Trial

1st February 2017

All employees working in Australia are entitled to a minimum wage and minimum standards of employment. The underpayment of wages and entitlements is a serious social and economic issue which affects workers, businesses and the community. 

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Completed: Supporting retirees in retirement income planning

2nd December 2016

Australia has an ageing population. With more and more people moving into retirement, a growing number of Australians are facing the decision of what to do with their superannuation savings.

A recent inquiry into Australia’s financial system (the Murray Inquiry) recommended the development of a new retirement income product to better meet the needs of different retirees. This new product is known as a Comprehensive Income Product for Retirement (CIPR).

Whether Australians choose to take up the new product will be an important decision in planning for their retirements.

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