ASSESSING THE QUALITY OF COVID-19 DATA: EVIDENCE FROM NEWCOMB-BENFORD LAW

Hrvoje Jošić, Berislav Žmuk

DOI Number
https://doi.org/10.22190/FUEO210326008J
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Abstract


The COVID-19 infection started in Wuhan, China, spreading all over the world, creating global healthcare and economic crisis. Countries all over the world are fighting hard against this pandemic; however, there are doubts on the reported number of cases. In this paper Newcomb-Benford Law is used for the detection of possible false number of reported COVID-19 cases. The analysis, when all countries have been observed together, showed that there is a doubt that countries potentially falsify their data of new COVID-19 cases of infection intentionally. When the analysis was lowered on the individual country level, it was shown that most countries do not diminish their numbers of new COVID-19 cases deliberately. It was found that distributions of COVID-19 data for 15% to 19% of countries for the first digit analysis and 30% to 39% of countries for the last digit analysis do not conform with the Newcomb-Benford Law distribution. Further investigation should be made in this field in order to validate the results of this research. The results obtained from this paper can be important for economic and health policy makers in order to guide COVID-19 surveillance and implement public health policy measures.


Keywords

COVID-19, misreporting, Newcomb-Benford Law, Kolmogorov-Smirnov Z test, chi-square test

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22190/FUEO210326008J

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