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Publication Date

1998

Abstract

This paper is initially informed by an institutional sociological framework to analyze changes in accounting practices that took place in the Royal Tobacco Factory (RTF) of Seville during the period 1760-1790. We argue that the significantly greater development and use of accounting practices during that period can be linked to the move to the much larger and more purposefully built new factories, the decline in total tobacco consumption, and the pressure to increase revenue for the Spanish Crown while reducing production cost and maintaining high product quality to deter entry. These new accounting practices were developed in part with the intent of improving factory efficiency, but importantly, they enhanced the external legitimacy of the RTF in the face of the events mentioned above and contributed to the long survival of the RTF as a monopolist.

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