IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

An Institutional Analysis of Cost Accounting Practices in the Spanish Eighteenth Century


  • Carlos Larrinaga-González

    () (Department of Business Administration, Universidad de Burgos.)

  • Miriam Núñez-Torrado

    () (Department of Accounting, Universidad de Sevilla.)

  • Fernando Gutiérrez-Hidalgo

    () (Department of Business Administration, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)


A growing body of literature (Johnson, 1972; Tyson, 1990; Fleischman and Parker, 1990 and 1991; Edwards and Newell, 1991 and Fleischman et al., 1996) has evidenced that sophisticated costing techniques were used in the early stages of the Industrial Revolution for efficiency reasons. However, some scholars have questioned the role of efficiency (Hoskin and Macve, 1988; Miller, 1994, Carmona et al., 1997, 1998 and 2002 and Gutiérrez et al., 2005) and have suggested institutional explanations for the development of cost accounting. The purpose of this research is to extend this institutional explanation of accounting spreading in the second half of the 18th century, Enlightenment Century Spain. With this aim, this work explores the changes that took place in six organizations depended of the Crown. The study reveals the importance of the role played by a group of managers belonging to the Spanish Enlightenment Movement.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Larrinaga-González & Miriam Núñez-Torrado & Fernando Gutiérrez-Hidalgo, 2008. "An Institutional Analysis of Cost Accounting Practices in the Spanish Eighteenth Century," Working Papers 08.04, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Business Administration.
  • Handle: RePEc:pab:wpbsad:08.04

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2008
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Salvador Carmona & Marta Macías, 2001. "Institutional Pressures, Monopolistic Conditions and the Implementation of Early Cost Management Practices: The Case of the Royal Tobacco Factory of Seville (1820–1887)," Abacus, Accounting Foundation, University of Sydney, vol. 37(2), pages 139-165, June.
    2. Carmona, Salvador & Ezzamel, Mahmoud & Gutierrez, Fernando, 2002. "The relationship between accounting and spatial practices in the factory," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 239-274, April.
    3. João A. Ribeiro & Robert W. Scapens, 2006. "Institutional theories in management accounting change: Contributions, issues and paths for development," Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(2), pages 94-111, July.
    4. Johnson, H. Thomas, 1972. "Early Cost Accounting for Internal Management Control: Lyman Mills in the 1850's," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 466-474, January.
    5. Richard K. Fleischman & Thomas N. Tyson, 1993. "Cost accounting during the industrial revolution. the present state of historical knowledge," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 46(3), pages 503-517, August.
    6. Carmona, Salvador & Ezzamel, Mahmoud & Gutierrez, Fernando, 1997. "Control and cost accounting practices in the Spanish Royal Tobacco Factory," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 411-446, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Doadrio, Leopoldo & Alvarado, María & Carrera, Nieves, 2015. "Reforma de la normativa contable española: análisis de su entramado institucional," Revista de Contabilidad - Spanish Accounting Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 200-216.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Napier, Christopher J., 2006. "Accounts of change: 30 years of historical accounting research," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 31(4-5), pages 445-507.
    2. Himick, Darlene, 2016. "Actuarialism as biopolitical and disciplinary technique," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 22-44.
    3. Brivot, Marion & Gendron, Yves, 2011. "Beyond panopticism: On the ramifications of surveillance in a contemporary professional setting," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 135-155, April.
    4. Fernando Gutiérrez Hidalgo, 2007. "Organización y trámite de la censura de cuentas de ultramar según la documentación conservada en la sección Tribunal de Cuentas del Archivo General de Indias (1851-1893)," Working Papers 07.05, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Business Administration.
    5. Bigoni, Michele & Antonelli, Valerio & Cafaro, Emanuela Mattia & D'Alessio, Raffaele & Funnell, Warwick, 2020. "Accounting for the ‘deviant’ in 19th century Italian prisons," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    6. Eva Carmona & Donato Gomez, 2002. "Early cost management practices, state ownership and market competition: the case of the Royal Textile Mill of Guadalajara, 1717-44," Accounting History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 231-251.
    7. Constable, Philip & Kuasirikun, Nooch, 2020. "From cosmological to commercial form: A Buddhist theory of ‘form’, ‘space’ and ‘stream of re-becoming’ in mid-19th century Thai accounting," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
    8. Luca Zan, 2004. "Accounting and management discourse in proto-industrial settings: the Venice Arsenal in the turn of the 16th century," Accounting and Business Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(2), pages 145-175.
    9. Salvador Carmona & Mahmoud Ezzamel, 2007. "Accounting and accountability in ancient civilizations: Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 20(1), pages 177-209, January.
    10. Massimo Sargiacomo, 2009. "Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 13(3), pages 269-280, August.
    11. Chakhovich, Terhi & McGoun, Elton G., 2016. "Why grids in accounting?," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 36-59.
    12. Carmona, Salvador & Ezzamel, Mahmoud & Gutiérrez, Fernando, 2004. "Accounting History Research:Traditional and New Accounting History Perspectives," De Computis "Revista Española de Historia de la Contabilidad". De Computis "Spanish Journal of Accounting History"., Asociación Española de Contabilidad y Administración de Empresas (AECA). Spanish Accounting and Business Administration Association., issue 1, pages 24-53, December.
    13. Toms, Steven & Shepherd, Alice, 2013. "Creative accounting in the British Industrial Revolution: Cotton manufacturers and the ‘Ten Hours’ Movement," MPRA Paper 51478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Quattrone, Paolo, 2009. "Books to be practiced: Memory, the power of the visual, and the success of accounting," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 85-118, January.
    15. Enrico Guarini & Francesca Magli & Alberto Nobolo, 2018. "Accounting for community building: the municipal amalgamation of Milan in 1873–1876," Accounting History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(1-2), pages 5-30, May.
    16. Luft, Joan & Shields, Michael D., 2003. "Mapping management accounting: graphics and guidelines for theory-consistent empirical research," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 28(2-3), pages 169-249.
    17. Jesús D. L—pez- Manj—n & Fernando Gutiérrez Hidalgo & Francisco Carrasco Fenech, 2009. "Cost calculations, religion and commerce: the Book of Good Government of the Souk of Malaga in the 13th Century," Working Papers 09.01, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Business Administration, revised Mar 2009.
    18. E. Grifell-Tatjé & C. Lovell, 2014. "Productivity, price recovery, capacity constraints and their financial consequences," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 3-17, February.
    19. Michaels, Guy, 2007. "The Division of Labour, Coordination, and the Demand for Information Processing," CEPR Discussion Papers 6358, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Mutiganda, Jean Claude, 2013. "Budgetary governance and accountability in public sector organisations: An institutional and critical realism approach," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 24(7), pages 518-531.

    More about this item


    Institutional Analysis; Cost Accounting; Spanish Eighteenth Century.;
    All these keywords.

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pab:wpbsad:08.04. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Publicación Digital - UPO). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.