Reporters from the US Reader’s Digest conducted an experiment in 16 World cities, to see what would happen to a ‘lost’  wallet. They dropped 12 wallets in various locations around each city; each wallet contained around $50 in local currency, a mobile number, business cards, and a family photo.

They then waited to see how many were returned. Finland came top, with 11 out of 12 wallets returned.

But I think there is something wrong with this survey – apart from only using 12 wallets instead of 100: $50 in Finland isn’t that much money, whereas $50 elsewhere is maybe a week’s wages. What they should have done is use the ‘Big Mac Index‘ :the amount of time that an average worker in a given country must work to earn enough to buy a Big Mac. Using that Index, they could have left a wallet with an amount just large enough to encourage dishonesty, but not too large to change someone’s life.

On that basis, Mumbai, India is a clear winner, with 9 out of 12 wallets returned.

Lisbon, with only one wallet returned and a reasonably affluent population, fared worst. It later transpired that the couple who returned it were visiting the city from The Netherlands!

The complete list is below:

City                 Number of wallets returned (out of 12)

1 – Lisbon
2 – Madrid
3 – Prague
4 – Zurich
4 – Rio de Janeiro
4 – Bucharest
5 – Warsaw
5 – London
6 – Ljubljana
6 – Berlin
7 – Amsterdam
7 – Moscow
8 – New York          
8 – Budapest
9 – Mumbai
11 – Helsinki   

There are some funny comments added to the Reader’s Digest survey website:

Muhammad Asif – You should have Tested Karachi also . .:/
Brijesh >Muhammad Asif – In Karachi,along with the wallets the reporter would have gone missing.

Ricardo De La Vega – If Mexico was on the list not only 0-12 would’ve of been returned but they would also use the contact info in the wallet to do an “express-kidnap” on you.

zzzzz – lol … try phillipines… if you drop 12 of that wallet you will lost 13… you know why? because the wallet of the one doing the dropping will be pick pocket too… so al in all you will lost 13