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Silva, L and Filho, DF (2020)

Using Benford’s law to assess the quality of COVID-19 register data in Brazil

Journal of Public Health.

ISSN/ISBN: Not available at this time. DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdaa193



Abstract: We employ Newcomb–Benford law (NBL) to evaluate the reliability of COVID-19 figures in Brazil. Using official data from February 25 to September 15, we apply a first digit test for a national aggregate dataset of total cases and cumulative deaths. We find strong evidence that Brazilian reports do not conform to the NBL theoretical expectations. These results are robust to different goodness of fit (chi-square, mean absolute deviation and distortion factor) and data sources (John Hopkins University and Our World in Data). Despite the growing appreciation for evidence-based-policymaking, which requires valid and reliable data, we show that the Brazilian epidemiological surveillance system fails to provide trustful data under the NBL assumption on the COVID-19 epidemic.


Bibtex:
@article{, author = {Silva, Lucas and Filho, Dalson Figueiredo }, title = "{Using Benford’s law to assess the quality of COVID-19 register data in Brazil}", journal = {Journal of Public Health}, year = {2020}, month = {10}, doi = {10.1093/pubmed/fdaa193}, }


Reference Type: Journal Article

Subject Area(s): Medical Sciences