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Asset valuation, profit measurement and path dependence in Britain to 1800

Edwards, John Richard 2016. Asset valuation, profit measurement and path dependence in Britain to 1800. British Accounting Review 48 (1) , pp. 87-101. 10.1016/

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The principal historical focus of this paper is the measurement procedures recommended for the use of merchants by accounting thinkers of the early modern period (1550–1800) and employed by them when constructing numerical illustrations intended to approximate the real world of commerce. A clear preference is shown for measurements based on historical cost both overall and when re-examined by author occupation and date of publication. The paper locates these findings within the broader development of accounting from the high Middle Ages through to 1800 to the extent that this is a feasible proposition given limitations of space and the current lack of knowledge about how accounting was actually done. The study draws on the notion of path dependence to help explain the demonstrated hegemony of historical cost through the ages.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Uncontrolled Keywords: Accounting history; Asset valuation; Charge and discharge; Double entry bookkeeping; Path dependence
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0890-8389
Date of Acceptance: 15 October 2014
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2021 10:45

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