Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Benford's Law and Fraud Detection. Facts and Legends

Contents:

Author Info

  • Andreas Diekmann

    ()

  • Ben Jann

    ()

Abstract

Is Benford's law a good instrument to detect fraud in reports of statistical and scientific data? For a valid test the probability of "false positives" and "false negatives" has to be low. However, it is very doubtful whether the Benford distribution is an appropriate tool to discriminate between manipulated and non-manipulated estimates. Further research should focus more on the validity of the test and test results should be interpreted more carefully.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://repec.ethz.ch/ets/papers/diekmann_jann_benford_2010.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ETH Zurich, Chair of Sociology in its series ETH Zurich Sociology Working Papers with number 8.

as in new window
Length: 8 pages
Date of creation: 06 Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ets:wpaper:8

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.socio.ethz.ch/

Related research

Keywords: Benford's law; fraud detection; false positive; false negative; regression coefficients;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Andreas Diekmann, 2007. "Not the First Digit! Using Benford's Law to Detect Fraudulent Scientif ic Data," Journal of Applied Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(3), pages 321-329.
  2. Dewald, William G & Thursby, Jerry G & Anderson, Richard G, 1986. "Replication in Empirical Economics: The Journal of Money, Credit and Banking Project," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 587-603, September.
  3. Andreas Diekmann, 2002. "Diagnose von Fehlerquellen und methodische Qualität in der sozialwissenschaftlichen Forschung [Sources of Bias and Quality of Data in Social Science Research]," ITA manu:scripts, Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA) 02_04, Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA).
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Susumu Shikano & Verena Mack, 2011. "When Does the Second-Digit Benford’s Law-Test Signal an Election Fraud? Facts or Misleading Test Results," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 231(5-6), pages 719-732, November.
  2. Bernhard Rauch & Max Göttsche & Gernot Brähler & Stefan Engel, 2011. "Fact and Fiction in EU‐Governmental Economic Data," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(3), pages 243-255, 08.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ets:wpaper:8. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jonas Blatter).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.