OPEN IN READ APP
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Civic honesty around the globe

Alain Cohn, Michel André Maréchal, David Tannenbaum, Christian Lukas Zünd
Science 2019 July 5, 365 (6448): 70-73
31221770
Civic honesty is essential to social capital and economic development but is often in conflict with material self-interest. We examine the trade-off between honesty and self-interest using field experiments in 355 cities spanning 40 countries around the globe. In these experiments, we turned in more than 17,000 lost wallets containing varying amounts of money at public and private institutions and measured whether recipients contacted the owners to return the wallets. In virtually all countries, citizens were more likely to return wallets that contained more money. Neither nonexperts nor professional economists were able to predict this result. Additional data suggest that our main findings can be explained by a combination of altruistic concerns and an aversion to viewing oneself as a thief, both of which increase with the material benefits of dishonesty.

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Responses

Sort by: Most RecentHighest Rated

Yu Gao

Biased design.

In China (and Asian countries), people seldom use email, and our merit is to leave things untouched ("路不拾遗":no one picks up lost articles in the street (idiom)).

6

Edward White

The "material benefits" of dishonesty could hardly be considered beneficial in this "study". As the old adage goes, "more risk, more reward". Waste of time.

0

Paul Rice

The study did well in some aspects. Admitting that a country's GDP wasn't a significant factor, then using GDP as a dependent variable in the lead graphic wasn't one of them.
https://surfaceyourrealself.com/2019/08/03/would-you-return-a-lost-wallet/

0

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
31221770
×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"