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Lost In The Mail: A Field Experiment On Crime

Author

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  • MARCO CASTILLO
  • RAGAN PETRIE
  • MAXIMO TORERO
  • ANGELINO VICEISZA

Abstract

Crime in the mail sector can hamper the development of electronic markets. We use a field experiment to detect crime and measure its differential impacts. We subtly, and realistically, manipulate the content and information available in mail sent to households and detect high levels of shirking and stealing. Eighteen percent of the mail never arrived at its destination, and even more was lost if there was even a slight hint of something additional inside the envelope. Our study demonstrates that privatization has been unable to extricate moral hazard and that crime is strategic and not equally distributed across the population.
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Suggested Citation

  • Marco Castillo & Ragan Petrie & Maximo Torero & Angelino Viceisza, 2014. "Lost In The Mail: A Field Experiment On Crime," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(1), pages 285-303, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:52:y:2014:i:1:p:285-303
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    Cited by:

    1. Christoph Engel, 2016. "Experimental Criminal Law. A Survey of Contributions from Law, Economics and Criminology," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2016_07, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    2. Jerónimo Carballo & Georg Schaur & Christian Volpe Martincus, 2016. "Posts as Trade Facilitators," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 94576, Inter-American Development Bank.
    3. Alberto Chong & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2014. "Letter Grading Government Efficiency," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 277-299, April.
    4. Jerónimo Carballo & Georg Schaur & Christian Volpe Martincus, 2016. "Posts as Trade Facilitators," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7681, Inter-American Development Bank.
    5. Olivier Armantier & Amadou Boly, 2013. "Comparing Corruption in the Laboratory and in the Field in Burkina Faso and in Canada," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(12), pages 1168-1187, December.

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