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Is Benford’s Law a Universal Behavioral Theory?

Sofia Villas-Boas (), Qiuzi Fu () and George Judge ()
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Qiuzi Fu: National School of Development, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
George Judge: Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Graduate School, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

Econometrics, 2015, vol. 3, issue 4, 1-11

Abstract: In this paper, we consider the question and present evidence as to whether or not Benford’s exponential first significant digit (FSD) law reflects a fundamental principle behind the complex and nondeterministic nature of large-scale physical and behavioral systems. As a behavioral example, we focus on the FSD distribution of Australian micro income data and use information theoretic entropy methods to investigate the degree that corresponding empirical income distributions are consistent with Benford’s law.

Keywords: first significant digits; Benford’s law; information theoretic methods; empirical likelihood; minimum divergence measure (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B23 C C00 C01 C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C8 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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