Measurement of harmony of financial reporting within and between countries: the case of the Nordic countries

Aisbitt, Sally (2001). Measurement of harmony of financial reporting within and between countries: the case of the Nordic countries. European Accounting Review, 10(1) pp. 51–72.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09638180122041

Abstract

This article aims to examine the usefulness of Archer et al.'s (1995) decomposed C-index in measuring harmony and hence harmonization. Financial reporting in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) at four dates in the period between 1981 and 1998 is used as a case study to demonstrate the method and to generate debate about the methodology. The discussion of the results of the analysis leads to the identification of a number of problems that arise in the interpretation of the indices. The difficulties have been divided into two main groups: (1) problems relating to causal inference; and (2) problems relating to properties of the indices. It is argued that the inter-play between these difficulties means that the use and interpretation of the indices is very complicated. Overcoming these obstacles would require a far more intricate model, which might prove less satisfactory than a qualitative analysis based on closer examination of the base data.

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