Testing firm-level data quality in China against Benford’s Law
Zhiyong Niu and
Economics Letters, 2020, vol. 192, issue C
The authenticity of China’s economic data has long been questioned. We use a new statistical method, Benford’s test, to evaluate data quality of the Chinese Industrial Census (CIC). We show that the method is effective to uncover data irregularities. Based on predicted industrial output by variables that are less manipulatable, such as employment and electricity, we further demonstrate that firms of different ownership types display different behavior in terms of the direction of data manipulation. We find no conclusive evidence of data manipulation by state-owned enterprises (SOEs), whereas private firms tend to under-report performance.
Keywords: Data quality; China; Benford’s Law (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C81 P20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:192:y:2020:i:c:s0165176520301361
Access Statistics for this article
Economics Letters is currently edited by Economics Letters Editorial Office
More articles in Economics Letters from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().