Calculating Profit: A Historical Perspective on the Development of Capitalism
AbstractThe paper introduces the notion of different methods of calculating and analysing profitability as signatures of capitalism at different stages of development. Interactions between the development of the productive forces and the socialisation of capital ownership jointly impact on these signatures, such that profit calculations are historically contingent. These interactions take the identification of capitalism beyond simple associations with the presence or absence of double-entry bookkeeping (DEB), the capital account or return on capital calculations. Profit calculations are implicated in the process of transition from feudalism to capitalism by enabling the private enforcement of profit levels in excess of legally regulated interest rates or through fairly remunerated labour. The modern usage of ROCE is linked to the development of the productive forces and the socialisation of capital ownership.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The York Management School, University of York in its series The York Management School Working Papers with number 41.
Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Toms, J.S., 2010. "Calculating profit: A historical perspective on the development of capitalism," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 205-221, February.
- NEP-ALL-2008-08-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2008-08-14 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-HPE-2008-08-14 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-PKE-2008-08-14 (Post Keynesian Economics)
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