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Are there economic benefits to being polite? Experimental evidence from the Israeli rental housing market

Shahar Sansani

Economics Bulletin, 2018, vol. 38, issue 1, 565-573

Abstract: In this paper, I perform a correspondence test to determine whether there are differential response rates to polite versus impolite requests to see apartments for rent. Being polite (impolite) can send a positive (negative) signal when the receiving party has limited information. Because showing apartments is costly, landlords may filter potential tenants by tenants' politeness. To conduct this test, I sent 1000 requests to view available apartments for rent, through email and text messages, half polite and half impolite. I find no statistically significant difference in the proportion of positive call-backs received based on politeness through both means of communication, demonstrating that in this context, manners do not matter.

Keywords: Politeness; housing; correspondence study (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Z0 R2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-03-23
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