Lose your wallet in Switzerland, Norway or the Netherlands if you must. With money inside

But don’t lose it in China, Morocco or Peru. Fascinating bit of research reported by Jo Nova.

This was a fairly exhaustive study. The researchers changed the names, currency and languages in every country to try to make the wallet appear to belong to a local. They also tried to control for the use of security cameras, onlookers, and penalties. They cross correlated the data in so many ways. In the supplementary file they compared and controlled for email use, GDP, soil fertility, temperature, hotel ranking, geography, years of democracy, family ties, pathogens, and even rainfall. (Read the supplement file). Despite all these variables, mostly, the response was explained by people just being nice.

The researchers commented that a big motivator is that people don’t want to feel like they are stealing. This is called “theft aversion”. Imagine how good people are going to feel here in Australia when they find out their neighbours have been forced to pay for half their solar panels?

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10 Responses to Lose your wallet in Switzerland, Norway or the Netherlands if you must. With money inside

  1. stackja

    OPM to save the planet is viewed differently.

  2. MatrixTransform

    all I need to do is submit the paperwork and 2250 for us.

    Id like to thank you all in advance for furthering your commitment and continuing to also subsidize my future electrical consumption as well.

    yr all very kind

  3. Roger

    Imagine how good people are going to feel here in Australia when they find out their neighbours have been forced to pay for half their solar panels?

    But that’s a righteous cause.

    And the ends justify the means.

    [Socialism 101]

  4. Adelagado

    They cross correlated the data in so many ways.

    … except Diversity perhaps.

    I can’t see Japan on the list. I suspect they would have topped it. (Being one of the least diverse ‘western countries’ in the world.

  5. MikeS

    A classic in the field and well worth a read:

    Corruption, Norms, and Legal Enforcement:
    Evidence from Diplomatic Parking Tickets
    Raymond Fisman, Edward Migueliguel

    We study cultural norms and legal enforcement in controlling corruption
    by analyzing the parking behavior of United Nations officials
    in Manhattan. Until 2002, diplomatic immunity protected UN diplomats
    from parking enforcement actions, so diplomats’ actions were
    constrained by cultural norms alone. We find a strong effect of corruption
    norms: diplomats from high-corruption countries (on the
    basis of existing survey-based indices) accumulated significantly more
    unpaid parking violations. In 2002, enforcement authorities acquired
    the right to confiscate diplomatic license plates of violators. Unpaid
    violations dropped sharply in response. Cultural norms and (particularly
    in this context) legal enforcement are both important determinants
    of corruption.

  6. Tim Neilson

    If I knew it belonged to a middle class pinko I’d donate the cash to a charity before turning it in empty.
    Because I just KNOW they’d want me to.

  7. Bruce

    The “wild card” in these scenarios is not the cash, it’s the cards. I suspect that many wallets are stolen SPECIFICALLY to be “on-sold” to people who want the card information, not the cash.

    The plethora of cards in many wallets is a rich source of details for “creative identity manufacture”, a much greater danger than fraudulent use at the corner electronics store..

    Cash gets replaced at the next pay-day, whilst cancelling and replacing lost cards can be a month long nightmare, especially when it comes to “high-risk work” tickets, weapons and explosives licence cards, building access cards, etc… Scanning and keeping on file, a copy of EVERY card in your wallet may save a bit of time and a lot of anguish.

    See also: Mobile Phones. If yours goes missing, accidentally or under duress, call your service provider and get the IEME number “killed”. This is the UNIQUE number of that set of phone “guts” and is registered with your service provider. It is part of the “hand-shake data stream every time you connect to ANY network. Anyone attempting to use that phone will be out of luck. It can be found on the original paperwork for the phone and can also be called up from the internal phone data.

    Ensuring your personal phone cannot be creatively repurposed in a bomb detonator or for major drug deals is a GOOD THING.

  8. Empire 5:5

    The researchers commented that a big motivator is that people don’t want to feel like they are stealing. This is called “theft aversion”.

    Cultural and economic influences aside, this is ultimately a personal choice at a given point in time and space. The saintly make the right choice every time.

    Socialists steal from anybody all of the time. The magical cloak of fake moral supremacy allegedly justifies larceny.

    Imagine how good people are going to feel here in Australia when they find out their neighbours have been forced to pay for half their solar panels?

    It’s worse than that. The abundant free energy of the sun bequeathed to us by the cosmos is the property of the commons. He who would covet the means to harvest the abundance while denying his brother a share of the bounty is a class traitor and shall be condemned to live his days in a shipping container located adjacent a toxic waste dump.

  9. Bruce

    Without aeons of solar power falling on the planet with its initial atmosphere of C)2 and Nitrogen, there would have been NO COAL.

    Burning coal is long-term recycling.

    Ask the Russian rock-doctors about oil and abiogenesis.

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