Benford’s Law as an Instrument for Fraud Detection in Surveys Using the Data of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP)
This paper focuses on fraud detection in surveys using Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) data as an example for testing newly methods proposed here. A statistical theorem referred to as Benford’s Law states that in many sets of numerical data, the significant digits are not uniformly distributed, as one might expect, but adhere to a certain logarithmic probability function. In order to detect fraud, we derive several requirements that should, according to this law, be fulfilled in the case of survey data.We show that in several SOEP subsamples, Benford’s Law holds for the available continuous data. For this analysis, we developed a measure that reflects the plausibility of the digit distribution in interviewer clusters. We are thus able to demonstrate that several interviews that were known to have been fabricated and therefore deleted in the original user data set can now be detected using this method. Furthermore, in one subsample, we use this method to identify a case of an interviewer falsifying ten interviews not previously detected by the fieldwork organization.
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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 231 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5-6 (October)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://www.degruyter.com|
|Order Information:||Web: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jbnst|
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.:
- Schräpler Jörg-Peter, 2011.
"Benford’s Law as an Instrument for Fraud Detection in Surveys Using the Data of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP),"
Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik),
De Gruyter, vol. 231(5-6), pages 685-718, October.
- Jörg-Peter Schräpler, 2010. "Benford's Law As an Instrument for Fraud Detection in Surveys Using the Data of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP)," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 273, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
- 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.
- Andreas Diekmann, 2005. "Not the First Digit! Using Benford’s Law to Detect Fraudulent Scientific Data," Others 0507001, EconWPA.
- Engel, Hans-Andreas & Leuenberger, Christoph, 2003. "Benford's law for exponential random variables," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 361-365, July.
- Karl-Heinz Tödter, 2009. "Benford's Law as an Indicator of Fraud in Economics," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10, pages 339-351, 08.
- Jörg-Peter Schräpler & Gert Wagner, 1999. "Das "Interviewer-Panel" des Sozio-oekonomischen Panels: Darstellung und ausgewählte Analysen," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 184, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Bredl, Sebastian & Winker, Peter & Kötschau, Kerstin, 2008. "A statistical approach to detect cheating interviewers," Discussion Papers 39, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Center for international Development and Environmental Research (ZEU).
- Lolbert, Tamás, 2008. "On the non-existence of a general Benford's law," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 103-106, March.
- 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 02_04, Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA).
- Breusch, T S & Pagan, A R, 1979. "A Simple Test for Heteroscedasticity and Random Coefficient Variation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1287-1294, September.
- Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007.
"The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements,"
Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften,
Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
- Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP): Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:231:y:2011:i:5-6:p:685-718. 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: (Peter Golla)
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.