Our work

What we do

Our work supports policy innovation. We:

  • develop practical solutions to real world problems and market failures
  • design mechanisms to boost economic efficiency and society
  • conduct policy experiments in the field and in the laboratory
  • provide advice informed by science and based on evidence
  • are linked into a worldwide network of economic experts
  • train PhDs in related research.

How we do it


We provide governments with practical policy advice informed by economic theory and based on evidence.

Economic design approaches to real world problems include:

  • Procurement – developing cost-effective mechanisms to allow governments to purchase goods and services
  • Natural resources – improving natural resources allocation with the benefit of higher royalty collections
  • Health – designing matching processes that improve access to kindergarten and university placements
  • Regulation – identifying cost-effective regulatory environments for business
  • Environment – designing cost-effective programs
  • Human services – designing new approaches to enable people with special needs to find appropriate services at low cost.

We test and refine policy mechanisms in the experimental economics laboratory (EMU) before they are applied in real world situations.

We have close links with the Caltech laboratory and collaborate on experimental sessions.

Research is undertaken by economic theorists, experimental economists, and econometricians. We support academic positions, sponsor visitors, workshops and conferences, and provide financial support to emerging researchers to pursue innovative ideas and solutions.

Areas of interest include:

  • petrol markets and regulatory issues
  • the economics of innovation, law and economics
  • implementation theory and practical implementation mechanisms
  • combinatorial auction design
  • contract theory.

Capability building

We build awareness of market and economic design in the public sector by linking stakeholders within government and academia at conferences, workshops and seminars, and via presentations to government.

Our executive education program aims to build policy makers’ awareness of market and economic design. The Specialist Certificate in Economic Design will be on offer again soon.


We work closely with state and commonwealth government agencies, researchers from local and international universities, and organisations with an interest in market design research and applications, to share knowledge and find solutions.