About the lecture

The lecture will briefly discuss how the experimental and behavioural study of decision making can have important policy implications. 

It will focus on three sample applications from Professor Zizzo's research:

  • the effect of social comparisons on technological innovation adoption;
  • consumer inattention leading to insufficient switching in markets for services, and the implications this has for consumer policy, based on laboratory experiments; and
  • the effect of pricing and nudge (signposting) interventions on the purchase of healthier cereals and soft drinks, based on an online experiment with a representative sample of the UK population.

How do people make decisions in an economic environment? What are the policy implications of these decisions? How can we influence or change decision-making behaviour?

The complexities of human decision-making were placed under the microscope at the 28th annual Colin Clark Memorial Lecture, hosted by the School of Economics.

Claudio Mezzetti, Daniel Zizzo, Joe Clark
L-R: Colin Clark Chair Professor Claudio Mezzetti, Head of School Professor Daniel Zizzo, and QIC quantitative strategist Joe Clark

Academic Dean and Head of School Professor Daniel Zizzo was this year’s guest speaker at the annual lecture, the School’s most prestigious event.

Professor Zizzo—a leading experimental and behavioural economist—said policy makers ignored the dimensions of decision-making at their own peril.

“We must have a better, richer understanding of decision-making to make a difference in people’s lives,” Professor Zizzo said.

“Policy makers must ensure that the decision environment has an evidence-based design.”

Read the full article on Professor Zizzo's lecture

About the presenter

Professor Daniel Zizzo

Professor Daniel Zizzo is the Academic Dean and Head of School for the School of Economics. He is a Research Associate in the Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis (CAMA) at Australian National University and a member of the UEA Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) and of the RCUK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy (CREATe). 

Professor Zizzo is also a Coordinating Editor of Theory and Decision and, among his other roles, he is both a Fellow of the ESRC Peer Review College and a member of the ESRC’s Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) Peer Review College. He is also an Associate Member of the EPSRC Peer Review College and an ARC Assessor. Professor Zizzo was also Secretary of the Conference of Heads of University Departments of Economics (CHUDE), a committee of the Royal Economic Society, for six years. 

Professor Zizzo is primarily an experimental and behavioural economist, and his research is motivated by the search for more realistic empirical and theoretical foundations of economic decision-making, using mainly experimental, but also analytical and computational methods as required. He considers himself a mainstream economist, but one interested in pushing forward the boundaries of mainstream economics, and one firmly committed to a wider perspective as an interdisciplinary social scientist.

Prior to joining the School in October 2018, Professor Zizzo was Dean of Research and Innovation in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Newcastle University and a Professor of Economics at Newcastle University Business School.

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Colin Clark Memorial Lecture 2018


About Colin Clark Memorial Lecture

The Colin Clark Memorial Lecture is our most prestigious annual event, now in its 29th year. 

It is held each year to recognise Dr Colin Clark’s outstanding contribution to the field of economics. Dr Colin Clark was a UQ Economics academic whose work on national income accounting was fundamentally important to the development of macroeconomics and to the approach of John Maynard Keynes. Dr Clark's greatest contribution to economics was his pioneering role in the construction of national accounts.

See all of the previous speakers.