A. Listen to a reporter talking about the results of the experiment. Rank the nine cities he mentions in the correct order below.

___ Amsterdam

___ Berlin

___ Budapest

___ Bucharest

___ Helsinki

___ Lisbon

___ Ljubljana

___ London

___ Madrid

___ Moscow

___ Mumbai

___ New York

___ Prague

___ Rio de Janeiro

___ Warsaw

___ Zurich

B. Listen again for more details. Answer the questions.

1   In which city did someone say…?

      a   his wife once lost her wallet

      b   people in his country were very honest

      c   people need to help each other

      d   she teaches her children to be honest

      e   you can never know if the wallet belongs to a poor person

2   What percentage of the wallets were returned? Did the people who gave them back have anything in common?



1 Helsinki   2 Mumbai   3 Budapest, New York

5 Moscow, Amsterdam   9 London, Warsaw   16 Lisbon


1 a Amsterdam   b Helsinki   c Moscow   d Mumbai

e London

2 47%; No, there was no common factor.


I = interviewer, O= Oliver

I   Today, we’re talking about a very interesting experiment to find the most and least honest cities in the world. It involved journalists travelling to sixteen cities and ‘losing’ twelve wallets in each city, then waiting to see how many people returned them in each place. Our presenter, Oliver, has got the results. So, Oliver, which was the most honest city?

O   Well, in first place was Helsinki, in Finland. People returned eleven of the twelve wallets. A businessman who found the wallet in the city centre said that Finnish people were naturally honest. He said there was very little corruption in Finland, and that people didn’t even drive through red traffic lights!

I   Really? And the least honest?

O   Well, I was quite surprised by this, but the least honest city, in sixteenth place, was Lisbon, in Portugal. Only one person phoned to say they’d found the wallet. And he wasn’t Portuguese: he was a sixty-year-old tourist from Holland.

 Interesting! What other results surprised you?

O   Well, I expected richer cities – cities with a higher standard of living – to be more honest than poorer ones, but this wasn’t necessarily true. The city that came second in the experiment was Mumbai, in India – people returned nine out of the twelve wallets. One of them was a young mother. She took it to a post office and she said, ‘I teach my children to be honest, just like my parents taught me.’

I   And which city came next?

O   In joint third place were New York and Budapest. People gave back eight wallets in both places.

I   And then?

O   Moscow and Amsterdam came joint fifth. In both places, seven out of twelve wallets were returned. And people gave lovely reasons for returning them. In Moscow, a woman said, ‘I think that people need to help each other, and if I can make someone a little happier, I want to do it.’ And in Amsterdam, a man said ‘My wife once lost her wallet. It was found and returned. So I wanted to do the same.’

I   I notice my home city, London, is on the list. How did it do?

O   London was somewhere in the middle: joint ninth with Warsaw. Just five of the wallets were returned in each place. Interestingly, one of the people who returned a wallet in London was a Polish woman. When she found the wallet, she gave it to her boss.

He – her boss – said to her, ‘If you find money, you can’t be sure it belongs to a rich man – it might be the last bit of money a mother has to feed her family.’

I   I think that’s fantastic advice. So were there any general conclusions? What did the experiment prove?

O   Forty-seven per cent of the wallets were returned, so that’s nearly half. And when we looked through the results, we found that you couldn’t predict who was going to be honest or dishonest. There was no common factor. Young people and old people both kept or returned wallets; men and women both kept or returned wallets; and as I said before, it didn’t make any difference whether a city was rich or poor. So our conclusion was that there are honest and dishonest people everywhere.

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