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DOES EVA BEAT EARNINGS? A LITERATURE REVIEW OF THE EVIDENCE SINCE BIDDLE ET AL. (1997)

Jon Svennesen Toft, Rainer Lueg

DOI: 10.22495/cocv12i3p1

Abstract

17 years ago, Biddle et al. (1997) demonstrated that sophisticated residual income-based figures are not as superior to traditional accounting-based performance measures in tracking shareholder value as consulting firms have claimed. During these 17 years, the intensive discussion of which type of measure tracks shareholder value creation the best continued, both from a theoretical and a practical perspective. This article compares the new findings from advanced research between 1997 and 2014 to assess the ongoing validity of Biddle et al.’s (1997) conclusions. We separate articles into two groups: the ones that find accounting-based performance measure to perform best, and the ones who speak in favor of residual income-based performance measures. In order to do this, we have scanned 618 articles that relate to the findings of Biddle et al. (1997) and analyze the 21 articles that actually contributed new evidence. We find that the conceptual discussion still favors management control systems based on the more sophisticated residual income-based measures. Yet empirically, the vast majority of new studies with advanced research designs still find that accounting numbers are by no means inferior in measuring shareholder value creation.

Keywords: Literature Review, Accounting-based Performance Measures, Residual Income-based Performance Measures, Shareholder Value, Economic Value Added, EVA, Stern Stewart, McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, Consulting, Management Control, Total Shareholder Return

How to cite this paper: Toft, J. S., & Lueg, R. (2015). Does EVA beat earnings? A literature review of the evidence since Biddle et al. (1997). Corporate Ownership & Control, 12(3), 8-18. http://doi.org/10.22495/cocv12i3p1

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