Analysing historical data: a justification of the use of quantitative methods
By John McDonald
Accounting History, vol.11:1 (2006)
Abstract: Instead of answering point-by-point the issues raised by Hooper (2006), the response in this rejoinder is to the general thrust of the argument. It is maintained that it is possible to measure how haphazard Domesday production was by measuring how close, on average, production was to best-practice production. This measure of closeness can then be compared with similar measures in other production situations. The wealth of carefully measured production data in the Domesday Book is contrasted with so called ‘contemporary’ documentay evidence referred to by Hooper. His interpretation that hides and fiscal acres were areal measures is rejected, and the issues of constant returns to scale in production, uniformity and comments about slave and conscript systems, which relate to absolute not best-practice efficiency, addressed.
Also see: Using William the Conqueror’s accounting record to assess manorial efficiency: a critical appraisal