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The Benford law behavior of the religious activity data

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  • Mir, T.A.

Abstract

An important aspect of religious association is that adherents, as part of their religious duty, carry out various activities. One religious group known for keeping the elaborate records of day-to-day activities of its members is the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs)—a worldwide Christian religious group. We analyse the historical records of the country-wide data associated with twelve different religious activities of JWs to see if there are any patterns in the distribution of the first digits as predicted by Benford’s law. This law states that the first digits of numbers in data sets are not uniformly distributed but often, not always, follow a logarithmic distribution such that the numbers beginning with smaller digits appear more frequently than those with larger ones. We find that the data on religious activities like peak publishers, pioneer publishers, baptizations, public meetings, congregations, bible studies, time spent in door-to-door contacts, attendances at the memorial services, total literature and individual magazines distributed, new subscriptions and back-calls received excellently conforms to Benford’s law.

Suggested Citation

  • Mir, T.A., 2014. "The Benford law behavior of the religious activity data," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 408(C), pages 1-9.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:408:y:2014:i:c:p:1-9
    DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2014.03.074
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bernhard Rauch & Max Göttsche & Gernot Brähler & Stefan Engel, 2011. "Fact and Fiction in EU‐Governmental Economic Data," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(3), pages 243-255, August.
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    7. Tam Cho, Wendy K. & Gaines, Brian J., 2007. "Breaking the (Benford) Law: Statistical Fraud Detection in Campaign Finance," The American Statistician, American Statistical Association, vol. 61, pages 218-223, August.
    8. Mir, T.A., 2012. "The law of the leading digits and the world religions," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 391(3), pages 792-798.
    9. David Giles, 2007. "Benford's law and naturally occurring prices in certain ebaY auctions," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 157-161.
    10. repec:cai:poeine:pope_204_0753 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Marcel Ausloos & Rosella Castellano & Roy Cerqueti, 2016. "Regularities and Discrepancies of Credit Default Swaps: a Data Science approach through Benford's Law," Papers 1603.01103, arXiv.org.
    2. T. Mir, 2016. "The leading digit distribution of the worldwide illicit financial flows," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 271-281, January.
    3. T. A. Mir, 2016. "The leading digit distribution of the worldwide illicit financial flows," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 271-281, January.
    4. Ausloos, M. & Herteliu, C. & Ileanu, B., 2015. "Breakdown of Benford’s law for birth data," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 419(C), pages 736-745.
    5. Tariq Ahmad Mir & Marcel Ausloos & Roy Cerqueti, 2014. "Benford's law predicted digit distribution of aggregated income taxes: the surprising conformity of Italian cities and regions," Papers 1410.2890, arXiv.org.

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