Are Academics Messy? Testing the Broken Windows Theory with a Field Experiment in the Work Environment
AbstractWe study the broken windows theory with a field experiment in a shared area of a workplace in academia (department common room). We explore academics' and postgraduate students' behaviour under an order condition (clean environment) and a disorder condition (messy environment). We find strong support that signs of disorderly behaviour triggers littering. In the disorder treatment 59% of the subjects litter compared to 18% in the order condition. The results remain robust when controlling compared to previous studies for a large set of factors in a multivariate analysis. When academic staff members and postgraduate students observe that others violated the social norm of keeping the common room clean the probability of littering increases ceteris paribus by around 40 percent.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) in its series CREMA Working Paper Series with number 2009-21.
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
broken windows theory; field experiment; littering;
Other versions of this item:
- Ramos Joao & Torgler Benno, 2012. "Are Academics Messy? Testing the Broken Windows Theory with a Field Experiment in the Work Environment," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(3), pages 563-577, December.
- João Ramos & Benno Torgler, 2010. "Are Academics Messy? Testing the Broken Windows Theory with a Field Experiment in the Work Environment," Working Papers 2010.104, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
- C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-10-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2009-10-17 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EDU-2009-10-17 (Education)
- NEP-EXP-2009-10-17 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2009-10-17 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2009-10-17 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Play with your colleagues, and write a paper about your experience
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-11-17 15:08:00
- The power of peers
by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2009-10-23 12:45:56
- Tilltagande nedskrÃ¤pning
by nonicoclolasos in Nonicoclolasos on 2010-01-21 12:52:07
- Are academics messy?
by Kevin Denny in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2009-10-18 13:13:00
- Robert Dur & Ben Vollaard, 2012.
"The Power of a Bad Example - A Field Experiment in Household Garbage Disposal,"
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers
12-061/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 11 Jan 2013.
- Dur, R. & Vollaard, B.A., 2012. "The Power of a Bad Example – A Field Experiment in Household Garbage Disposal," Discussion Paper 2012-054, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Dur, R. & Vollaard, B.A., 2012. "The Power of a Bad Example – A Field Experiment in Household Garbage Disposal," Discussion Paper 2012-024, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
- Christoph Engel & Sebastian Kube & Michael Kurschilgen, 2011. "Can we manage first impressions in cooperation problems? An experimental study on “Broken (and Fixed) Windows”," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2011_05, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
- Robert Dur & Ben Vollaard, 2012. "The Power of a Bad Example - A Field Experiment in Household Garbage Disposal," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-061/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 11 Jan 2013.
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