A lost-wallet study is not exactly a pinnacle of scientific research — you drop some wallets around a city, measure the rate of return, then make some piece-of-cake assumptions about society’s moral fiber: People suck! In this case, however, the results yielded by a Barnard College study are too perfect not to mention. Students dropped 132 wallets in Chelsea, Crown Heights, the Upper East Side, Harlem, City Hall, and the Bronx. Only two wallets disappeared completely; the others were returned or ignored. And — get this — the two that were picked up and not returned were on the Upper East Side. They disappeared from blocks with a median family income of $126,000 a year. Inside each wallet? A MetroCard, a business card, and four whole dollars.
Finder’s Keepers? Not in New York [Barnard College]