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Searching for the accounting features of capitalism: an illustration with the economic transition process in China

  • Chiapello, Eve


  • Ding, Yuan


In this paper, the authors show that capitalism and double-entry bookkeeping are not indissociably interconnected as Sombart argued in his book in 1916. Indeed, the double-entry bookkeeping accounting system was also adopted by anti-capitalist countries where a new economic system was set up. A study of how accounting has changed with the economic transition in China helps us identify those "accounting features" required for a capitalist economy that clearly differ from those needed for the planned and centralized economy.

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Paper provided by HEC Paris in its series Les Cahiers de Recherche with number 817.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ebg:heccah:0817
Contact details of provider: Postal: HEC Paris, 78351 Jouy-en-Josas cedex, France
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  1. Bailey, Derek, 1990. "Accounting in the shadow of stalinism," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 513-525.
  2. Balassa, Bela, 1987. "China's economic reforms in a comparative perspective," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 410-426, September.
  3. Gordon, Roger H & Li, Wei, 1991. "Chinese Enterprise Behavior under the Reforms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 202-06, May.
  4. S. David Young, 1999. "From plan to market: financial statements and economic transition in the East German enterprise," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 157-189.
  5. Firth, Michael, 1996. "The diffusion of managerial accounting procedures in the People's Republic of China and the influence of foreign partnered joint ventures," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 21(7-8), pages 629-654.
  6. Kornai, Janos, 2000. "What the Change of System from Socialism to Capitalism Does and Does Not Mean," Scholarly Articles 3634160, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. David Chu & Kolleen Rask & Thomas Gottschang, 1998. "Institutional Change in Transitional Economies: The Case of Accounting in China," Working Papers 9804, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  8. Judith Thornton, 1965. "Estimation of Value Added and Average Returns to Capital in Soviet Industry from Cross-Section Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 620.
  9. Hicks, John R, 1974. "Capital Controversies: Ancient and Modern," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 307-16, May.
  10. Kolleen J Rask & David K W Chu & Thomas R Gottschang, 1998. "Institutional Change in Transitional Economies: The Case of Accounting in China," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(4), pages 76-100, December.
  11. Derek Bailey, 1995. "Accounting in transition in the transitional economy," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(4), pages 595-623.
  12. Hilmy, Joseph, 1999. "Communists Among Us in a Market Economy: Accountancy in the People's Republic of China," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 491-515, 010.
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