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Diaconis, P and Freedman, D (1979)

On Rounding Percentages

Journal of the American Statistical Association 74(366), pp. 359-364.

ISSN/ISBN: 0162-1459 DOI: Not available at this time.

Abstract: We assess the probability that a table of rounded precentages adds to 100 percent. This extends work of Mosteller, Youtz, and Zahn (1967) who found that the chance of rounding to 100 percent was about 3/4 with three categories, 2/3 with four categories, and (6/πc)1/2 with a large number c of categories. We give a mathematical treatment of thei phenomenon when the table is drawn from a multinomial distribution or from a mixture of multinomial distributions. We discuss the very different small-sample behavior and treat Benford's leading digit data as an example.

@article{, ISSN = {01621459}, URL = {}, author = {Persi Diaconis and David Freedman}, journal = {Journal of the American Statistical Association}, number = {366}, pages = {359--364}, publisher = {[American Statistical Association, Taylor & Francis, Ltd.]}, title = {On Rounding Percentages}, volume = {74}, year = {1979} }

Reference Type: Journal Article

Subject Area(s): Statistics