Benford’s Law, and Worldwide Illicit Financial Flows

Intriguing new paper:

The leading digit distribution of the worldwide illicit financial flows

Benford’s law states that in many data sets the overall distribution of the significant digits tends to be logarithmic so that the occurrence of numbers beginning with smaller first significant digits is more often than those with larger ones. We investigate here recent data on illicit financial flows from developing countries and reveal that the data does submit to Benford’s law. Further, the general improvement in the statistical accuracy which we observed supports the applicability of the normalization process used to limit the inclusion of the countries in the database for which the illicit financial flows are not substantial.

via [1201.3432] The leading digit distribution of the worldwide illicit financial flows.

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