Kenya: Nairobi Ranks Poorly in the Global Honesty Index

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(File photo).

Kenyans rank poorly in a global honesty survey of 40 countries where researchers dropped wallets with cash in public places as part of a social experiment.

The study sought to answer the question: Does the amount of cash in a lost wallet impact how likely a person is to return it?

A team of researchers drawn from various universities across the world studied the question in a huge experiment spanning 355 cities in 40 countries. One of the cities studied was Nairobi.

The experiment, which cost Sh60 million ($600,000), is unparalleled in its magnitude, according to AFP.

To pull it off, the researchers dropped off more than 17,000 identical wallets at banks, cultural establishments like theatres and museums, post offices, hotels, and police stations or courts of law.

The wallet would be placed on the counter by the research assistant, who would deliver it to an employee telling them they had found it on the street but were in a hurry and had to go.

Each contained a grocery list, a key, and three business cards in the local language using fictitious but commonplace male names and an email address, signaling the owner was a local resident.

Some wallets had no money, while others contained the equivalent of Sh1,345 ($13.45), adjusted for purchasing power in the target country.

The overall finding of the study was that people are likelier to return wallets with more cash.

In the study, the Swiss emerged as the most honest followed by Norwegians, Dutch and Danes in that order.

Kenyans ranked number 36 out forty. Chinese were ranked the most dishonest followed by Moroccans, Peruvians and Kazakhstanis in that order.

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