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Detecting Problems in Survey Data Using Benford's Law

Detecting Problems in Survey Data Using Benford's Law Abstract: "It is 15:00 in Nairobi. Do you know where your enumerators are??" Good quality data is paramount for applied economic research. If the data are distorted, corresponding conclusions may be incorrect. We demonstrate how Benford's law, the distribution that first digits of numbers in certain data sets should follow, can be used to test for data abnormalities. We conduct an analysis of nine commonly used data sets and find that much data from developing countries is of poor quality while data from the United States seems to be of better quality. Female and male respondents give data of similar quality. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Human Resources University of Wisconsin Press

Detecting Problems in Survey Data Using Benford's Law

Journal of Human Resources , Volume 44 (1) – Apr 4, 2009

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Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Wisconsin Press
ISSN
1548-8004
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: "It is 15:00 in Nairobi. Do you know where your enumerators are??" Good quality data is paramount for applied economic research. If the data are distorted, corresponding conclusions may be incorrect. We demonstrate how Benford's law, the distribution that first digits of numbers in certain data sets should follow, can be used to test for data abnormalities. We conduct an analysis of nine commonly used data sets and find that much data from developing countries is of poor quality while data from the United States seems to be of better quality. Female and male respondents give data of similar quality.

Journal

Journal of Human ResourcesUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Apr 4, 2009

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