The Applicability of Benford’s Law to the buying Behavior of Foreign Military Sales Customers

Global Journal of Business Research, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 77-85, 2008

Posted: 19 Feb 2010  

Charley Tichenor

Defense Security Cooperation Agency

Bobby Davis

Florida A&M University

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

The forces of natural law selection prompt animal species to make preference decisions to maximize their survival utility. Those species making decisions in this way survive, and those which do not tend towards extinction. This process appears to follow a decreasing marginal utility trend with a logarithmic probability distribution, which is identical to Benford’s Law. This suggests that Benford’s Law is a descriptive statistic of this natural selection process. Additionally, the customers of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s foreign military sales program presumably also attempt to optimize their survival utility, and exhibit purchasing patterns correlating strongly with Benford’s Law. The purpose of this paper is to examine how a mathematical phenomenon, Benford’s Law, may prove to be a useful means of understanding the buying behavior of DSCA’s foreign customers. This paper also suggests an informal proof of Benford’s Law.

JEL Classification: C44, M31

Suggested Citation

Tichenor, Charley and Davis, Bobby, The Applicability of Benford’s Law to the buying Behavior of Foreign Military Sales Customers (2008). Global Journal of Business Research, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 77-85, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1543525

Charley Tichenor (Contact Author)

Defense Security Cooperation Agency ( email )

Washington, DC
United States

Bobby Davis

Florida A&M University ( email )

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