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Double entry and the rise of capitalism: keeping a sense of proportion?

Steven Toms ()

Accounting History Review, 2016, vol. 26, issue 1, 25-31

Abstract: The paper addresses the debate raised by the reinterpretation of Dean, Clarke, and Capalbo (2016) of the origins of double-entry bookkeeping (DEB) and its implications. It offers a critique based on three aspects: the role of value, the relationship between DEB and algebra, and the historical sequencing of the adoption of DEB, the rise of capitalism and the ‘capitalist mentality’, industrialisation and the Global Financial Crisis. It reinterprets each aspect and concludes on the implications for teaching, stressing the importance of all aspects of asset valuation.

Date: 2016
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