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On the use of Information Theory Concepts in the Analysis of Financial Statements


  • Henri Theil

    (The University of Chicago)


Balance sheets and income statements are numerical decompositions of certain total sums: total assets, total liabilities, total sales, and total costs and expenses. The behavior of individual items measured as fractions of the corresponding total is important for the analysis of the company's financial position. It will be argued in this article that certain concepts derived from information theory are useful as summarizing descriptive devices for changes in such fractions as well as for the analysis of differences between companies of the same industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Henri Theil, 1969. "On the use of Information Theory Concepts in the Analysis of Financial Statements," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 15(9), pages 459-480, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:15:y:1969:i:9:p:459-480

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. M. E. Salveson, 1956. "A Problem in Optimal Machine Loading," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 2(3), pages 232-260, April.
    2. M. Beckman & R. Muth, 1956. "An Inventory Policy for a Case of Lagged Delivery," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 2(2), pages 145-155, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. E. M. S. Ribeiro & G. A. Prataviera, 2014. "Information theoretic approach for accounting classification," Papers 1401.2954,, revised Sep 2014.
    2. Ribeiro, E.M.S. & Prataviera, G.A., 2014. "Information theoretic approach for accounting classification," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 416(C), pages 651-660.
    3. Smimou, K. & Bector, C.R. & Jacoby, G., 2007. "A subjective assessment of approximate probabilities with a portfolio application," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 134-160, June.
    4. Raghbendra Jha & Ibotombi Longjam, 2008. "A Divisia type saving aggregate for India," Macroeconomics and Finance in Emerging Market Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 51-66.
    5. Jobst, Andreas A., 2013. "Multivariate dependence of implied volatilities from equity options as measure of systemic risk," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 112-129.

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