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Testing the emission reduction claims of CDM projects using the Benford’s Law

Matthew Cole (), David Maddison () and Liyun Zhang
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Liyun Zhang: University of Birmingham

Climatic Change, 2020, vol. 160, issue 3, No 5, 407-426

Abstract: Abstract Benford’s Law suggests that the first digits of numerical data are heavily skewed towards low numbers. Data that fail to conform to Benford’s Law when conformity is to be expected may have been manipulated. Using Benford’s Law, we conduct digital frequency analysis on the emission reduction claims of Clean Development Mechanism projects. Digital frequency analysis indicates that although emission reduction claims made in project design documents do not conform to Benford’s Law, we cannot reject the null hypothesis that data on certified emission reductions do. Benford’s Law offers a rapid, low-cost means of identifying possible instances of data manipulation.

Keywords: Clean Development Mechanism; Emission reductions; Benford’s Law; Data manipulation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s10584-019-02593-5

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