February 2018

IZA DP No. 11315: The Misaddressed Letter Experiment

Gweneth Leigh, Andrew Leigh

published in: Applied Economics Letters, 2018, 25 (21), 1527-1530

We design a new field experiment to test pro-social behaviour: will a household return a letter that has been incorrectly addressed? On average, we find that half of all letters were returned. Return rates do not vary significantly according to the gender, race or ethnicity of the fictitious addressee. However, return rates are higher in more affluent neighbourhoods.