Dilhan Perrera

Dilhan Perrera

MPP 2019 BIG Fellows 2018-19 PAE: Helping Young Adults Invest Smarty Client: Government of Australia

Dilhan Perera is an Advisor in the London office of the Behavioural Insights Team, working across its Home Affairs and International programmes. He works on the design and evaluation of interventions across a range of policy areas and contexts, including projects to reduce corruption, violence and youth unemployment. Since March, he has also helped conduct rapid online testing of Covid-19 public health communications in the UK, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

Previously, Dilhan worked as an economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Treasury. He holds degrees in psychology and economics from the University of Sydney, as well as an MPP from Harvard Kennedy School. During his time at HKS, he focused on policy evaluation and applied behavioral science, and helped lead the Behavioral Insights Student Group. Find Dilhan on LinkedIn.

PAE: Helping Young Adults Invest Smartly | Client: Government of Australia

We partnered with a consumer website in Australia to encourage young adults to invest smartly. Compared with older Australians, young Australians tend to perform worse on tests of financial literacy, report being less motivated to invest their money, and are less likely to hold investments. These differences between younger and older adults are particularly pronounced for young women. Using insights from behavioral science, analysis of several large datasets, and online experiments, we recommended changes to the website aimed at correcting misconceptions about investing; rebalancing perceptions of risk; and countering gender stereotypes and norms around consumer finance.