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The Development Of Corporate Performance Measures: Benchmarks Before EVA

Listed author(s):
  • Stanley Garstka
  • William Goetzmann

Modern accounting-based valuation models such as residual income and EVA may be thought of as careful estimates of the economic return to investors in excess of the firm's cost of capital. The framework for these models can be traced to theoretical and empirical work in the early part of the century, coincidental with the introduction of mathematical economics to America and with the availability of standardized accounting data for use by professional statisticians. By the middle of the century these "economic theory" and "practical empirical" tracks began to merge and corporate managers consciously adapted and applied performance evaluation technology in the decision making process. The development of corporate performance measurement over the past century has its genesis in the work of statisticians, economists and managers who sought to understand the functions of the American corporation and through this understanding to improve its operation. In this essay, we trace the development of early attempts by academics to compare economic performance across firms using empirical data. We also list significant developments in economic theory that are relevant to the performa

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Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number ysm121.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 1999
Date of revision: 01 Jan 2001
Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm121
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