The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Double-Entry Bookkeeping

  • Basil S. Yamey
Reference work entry


Double-entry bookkeeping is a system for arranging and organizing accounting information. It requires that each transaction (or other change) recorded in the accounting system must be recorded twice, and for the same money amount, once in debit form and once in credit form. Because it is concerned with the organization of information rather than with the scope and detail of that information, the system of double-entry bookkeeping is highly adaptable. It neither generates nor requires any particular set of valuation rules or profit concepts, and it is compatible with different treatments for changes in the value of money.


Accounting Assets and liabilities Balance-sheet equation Double-entry bookkeeping National accounting Pacioli, L. Sombart, W. Spengler, O. Transaction analysis van Gezel, W. 

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  1. Yamey, B.S. 1964. Accounting and the rise of capitalism. Journal of Accounting Research 2: 117–136. for a discussion of Sombart’s views on double-entry bookkeeping and capitalism.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Basil S. Yamey
    • 1
  1. 1.