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Evidence of Inequality from Accounting Data Visualization



Using Piketty's (2014) theory on inequality, we study inequality among firms through the visualization of accounting big data of listed firms of 140 countries for 1985 to 2013. The design employs exploratory data analysis and reproducible research using data visualization tools, namely, R with dplyr, ggplot2, and googleVis (Geo Chart and Motion Chart). The findings are as follows: (1) the size of big businesses is greater than that of small- and medium-sized developing economies; (2) an inequality force (rate of return on capital r > sales growth rate g) exists from the accounting perspective; (3) hyper-concentrated firm wealth exists among countries worldwide; (4) inequality of firms' wealth is greater than inequality of firms' income; and (5) inequality of firms' wealth is greater than inequality of individual wealth. This study is the first to show evidence of inequality of firms' wealth using accounting big data.

Parallel abstracts

全球不平等現象不可遏制的成長已不容忽視。本研究從不同的會計角度探討不平等之議題,並以資料視覺化工具呈現證據。資料視覺化是一個能很快溝通及評估資訊的方法,幫助我們以新的視角看世界,揭示隱藏資訊中的非預期模式和趨勢。迄今為止,尚未有文獻運用資料視覺化於全球性規模的會計大數據資料。因此,本研究首先檢視是否大企業比發展中之中小型經濟市場的規模來的大;接著,為了確認分歧的力量,我們探究了Piketty (2014)的原理,亦即資本報酬率是否顯著高於收入成長率;最後,透過資料視覺化之技術,本文展示全球企業的財富現狀。資料視覺化是一個能很快去溝通及評估資訊的方法,其能幫助我們以新的視角看世界、揭示隱藏資訊中的非預期模式和趨勢。


Atkinson, A. B.(2015).Inequality: What Can Be Done?.Cambridge, MA:Harvard University Press.
Brennan, N. M.,Guillamon-Saorin, E.,Pierce, A.(2009).Impression management: Developing and illustrating a scheme of analysis for narrative disclosures-A methodological note.Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.22(5),789-832.
Brown, J.(2009).Democracy, sustainability and dialogic accounting technologies: Taking pluralism seriously.Critical Perspectives on Accounting.20(3),313-342.
Brown, J.(2010).Accounting and visual cultural studies: Potentialities, challenges and prospects.Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.23(4),482-505.
Bryer, R.(2013).Americanism and financial accounting theory-Part 3: Adam Smith, the rise and fall of socialism, and Irving Fisher's theory of accounting.Critical Perspectives on Accounting.24(7-8),572-615.