IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fem/femwpa/2010.104.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Are Academics Messy? Testing the Broken Windows Theory with a Field Experiment in the Work Environment

Author

Listed:
  • João Ramos

    (School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology)

  • Benno Torgler

    (School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, CREMA – Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts, Switzerland, NCER – National Centre for Econometric Research, and CESifo)

Abstract

We 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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2010.104
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.feem.it/userfiles/attach/2010961150424NDL2010-104.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
    2. Funk, Patricia & Kugler, Peter, 2003. "Dynamic interactions between crimes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 291-298, June.
    3. Torgler Benno & Frey Bruno S. & Wilson Clevo, 2009. "Environmental and Pro-Social Norms: Evidence on Littering," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-41, April.
    4. Christopher F Baum, 2006. "An Introduction to Modern Econometrics using Stata," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, number imeus, April.
    5. P. B. Anand, 2000. "Co-operation and the urban environment: An exploration," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(5), pages 30-58.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Christoph Engel & Sebastian Kube & Michael Kurschilgen, 2011. "Can we manage first impressions in cooperation problems? An experiment," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2011_05, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised May 2014.
    2. Dur, R. & Vollaard, B.A., 2012. "The Power of a Bad Example – A Field Experiment in Household Garbage Disposal (replaced by TILEC DP 2013-006)," Discussion Paper 2012-024, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    3. Dur, R. & Vollaard, B.A., 2013. "The Power of a Bad Example – A Field Experiment in Household Garbage Disposal (Revision of TILEC DP 2013-006)," Discussion Paper 2013-018, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    4. Dur, R. & Vollaard, B.A., 2013. "The Power of a Bad Example – A Field Experiment in Household Garbage Disposal (Revision of CentER DP 2013-018)," Discussion Paper 2013-037, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Broken Windows Theory; Field Experiment; Littering;

    JEL classification:

    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; 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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2010.104. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (barbara racah). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/feemmit.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.