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Econometrics 2015, 3(4), 698-708; doi:10.3390/econometrics3040698

Is Benford’s Law a Universal Behavioral Theory?

1
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
2
National School of Development, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
3
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Graduate School, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kerry Patterson
Received: 16 September 2015 / Revised: 13 October 2015 / Accepted: 14 October 2015 / Published: 22 October 2015
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: first significant digits; Benford’s law; information theoretic methods; empirical likelihood; minimum divergence measure first significant digits; Benford’s law; information theoretic methods; empirical likelihood; minimum divergence measure
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Villas-Boas, S.B.; Fu, Q.; Judge, G. Is Benford’s Law a Universal Behavioral Theory? Econometrics 2015, 3, 698-708.

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