Professor Tony Arnold

Professor of Accounting and Business HistoryARNOLD_Tony

Contact Information



Tony was a full-time member of the School of Management from 2005 until 2009. Previously he was Professor and Director of the Centre for Business History in the School of Business and Economics, University of Exeter and then Professor of Accounting and Business History in the Accounting, Finance and Management Department, Essex University. He holds a PhD in Economic History from London School of Economics and an MSc in Financial Control from Bradford University.

Research Interests

Tony's research is primarily concerned with conceptualising and measuring business performance, in both contemporary and historical contexts. He has been awarded a number of research grants and is currently working on the use of national income accounting data as a basis for estimating industrial rates of return, on the origins of finance capitalism, on the commercial benefits of contracting with the state, on the evolution of reserve and provision accounting and on war-time profitability, profiteering and taxation policy.

Recent Publications

Arnold A J (March 2016), “Football at the ‘end of the line’: economic decline, cross
-subsidies and Football League membership in the NW steel district of England”, Sport in History, Vol. 36 No. 1, pp. 47-72

Arnold A J (December 2015), “Business returns from gold price fixing and bullion trading on the inter-war London market”, Business History, Vol. 58 No. 2, pp. 283-308

Arnold A J (June 2015), “Accounting’s representation of industrial expansion and decline: some evidence from practice at Vickers shipbuilding, 1910-24”, British Accounting Review Vol. 47 No. 2, pp. 191-203

Arnold A J and S McCartney (November 2014),“’Veritable gold mines before the arrival of railway competition’: but did dividends signal rates of return in the English canal industry?” in Maris Coffman and Larry Neal (eds), History of Financial Crises, Vol II The Growth of Financial Capitalism (London: Routledge), pp. 25-51

Arnold A J (September 2014), “Financial reporting; an historical perspective” in Wiley Encyclopaedia of Management, Third edition, Vol. 1 (ed) C L Cooper, pp. 1-5

Arnold A J (July 2014), “’A paradise for profiteers’? The importance and treatment of profits during the First World War,” Accounting History Review, Vol. 24 Nos 2-3, pp. 61-81.
Also awarded the Accounting History Review prize for best paper of 2014.

Arnold A J (February 2014), “Investment decisions and the signalling effects of financial information flows: Vickers shipyard 1913-24”, International Journal of Maritime History, Vol 26 No 1, pp. 25-43

Arnold A J (2013), “Assessing the financial performance of Pergamon Press, 1964-80”, Accounting History Review Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 117-39

Arnold A J (April 2013), Paper on “Investment decisions and their accounting representation in the New Liverpool shipbuilding industry, 1913-24" given as the 21st Peter Davies lecture in Maritime Business History at the University of Liverpool at the invitation of the International Maritime Economic History Association and the Centre for Port & Maritime History.

Arnold A J (June 2012), “Sheffield to the rescue of the ‘New Liverpool’ ? The impact of Vickers on shipbuilding activities in Barrow-in-Furness”, International Journal of Maritime History, Vol 24 No 1, pp. 61-88.

Arnold A J (March 2012), “Dependency, Debt and Shipbuilding in ‘Palmer’s Town’”, Northern History, Vol XLIX No 1, pp. 99-117.

McCartney S and Arnold A J (2012),  “Financial capitalism, incorporation and the emergence of financial reporting information”, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Vol 25 No 8, pp. 1290-1316.

Arnold A J (July 2011), “Out of light a little profit”? Returns to capital at Bryant and May, 1884-1927‘, Business History, Vol 53 No 4, pp. 617-40.

Arnold A J (June 2011), “National strategic objectives, the interests of the ‘armaments ring’ and the failure of Thames Ironworks in 1912”, International Journal of Maritime History, Vol 23 No 1, pp. 51-72.

Arnold A J (March 2011) 'Charles Mare, London ironmaster and shipbuilder',  The London Journal, Vol 36 No 1, pp. 23-36.

Arnold A J and S McCartney (February 2011) "'Veritable gold mines before the arrival of railway competition' but did dividends signal rates of return in the English canal industry", Economic History Review, Vol 64, No 1, Pp. 214-36.

Arnold A J and S McCartney (July 2010) "Can macro-economic sources be used to define UK business performance, 1855-1914?", Business History, Vol 52 No 4, pp. 554-89.

Arnold A J and S McCartney (2008) "The transition to financial capitalism and its implications for financial reporting: evidence from the English canal companies", Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Vol 21 No 8, pp. 1185-1209.

Arnold A J and J M Bidmead (2008), 'Going "to paradise by way of Kensal Green": A most unfit subject for trading profit?', Business History, Vol 50 No 3, pp. 328-50. [Also included in M Casson (ed.), Markets and Market Institutions: Their Origins and Evolution, (Edward Elgar, 2011)].

Arnold A J and P Collier (2007), The Evolution of Reserve and Provision Accounting 1938-50 (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland), p. 87.

Arnold A J (2005) "Financial reporting: an historical perspective" in Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management , Second Edition, Vol 1 (ed) C L Cooper, pp. 198-203.

Arnold A J and S McCartney (March 2005) "Rates of return, concentration levels and strategic change: British railways from 1830 to 1912", Journal of Transport History , Vol 26 No 1, pp. 41-60.

Arnold A J and S McCartney (October 2004) George Hudson. The Rise and Fall of the Railway King : A Study in Victorian Entrepreneurship , Hambledon and London Press, p 317.

Arnold A J (Summer 2004) "Harnessing the Forces of Commercialism: the Financial Development of the Football Association, 1863 to 1975" Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics , Vol 7 No 2, pp. 232-48.

Arnold A J and S McCartney (Spring 2004) "Were they ever 'productive to the capitalist'? Rates of return on Britain's railways, 1830-55", Journal of European Economic History , Vol 33 No 2, pp. 383-410.

Arnold A J and S McCartney (2003) "The railway mania of 1845-7: market irrationality or collusive swindle based on accounting distortions?" Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal , Vol 16 No 5, pp 821-52.

Arnold A J and S McCartney (April 2003) "It may be earlier than you think: evidence, myths and informed debate in accounting history" Critical Perspectives on Accounting , Vol 14 No 3, pp 227-53.

Arnold A J and S McCartney (Winter 2002) "The beginnings of accounting for capital consumption : disclosure practices in the British railway industry, 1830-55", Accounting and Business Research , Vol 32 No 4, pp. 195-208.

Arnold A J (June 2002) "Iron Shipbuilding on the Thames, 1832-1915: a Roundtable Response", International Journal of Maritime History , Vol XIV No 1, pp 284-6.

Arnold A J and S McCartney (April 2002) "Financial reporting in the context of crisis: reconsidering the impact of the 'mania' on early railway accounting", European Accounting Review , Vol 11 No 2, pp. 401-17.

Arnold A J and D R Matthews (January 2002) "Statutory and voluntary influences on corporate financial disclosures in the UK, 1920-50" Accounting and Business Research , Vol 32 No 1, pp. 3-16.

McCartney S and A J Arnold (October 2001) "'Capital clamours for profitable investment, confidence has become eager and may shortly become blind': George Hudson and the 'railway mania' extensions of the York and North Midland Railway" Journal of Industrial History , Vol 4 No 2, pp. 94-116.

McCartney S and A J Arnold (July 2001) "A vast aggregate of avaricious and flagitious jobbing ? George Hudson and the evolution of early notions of directorial responsibility", Accounting Business and Financial History , Vol 11 No 2, pp. 117-43.

Arnold A J (May 2001) "'Riches beyond the dreams of avarice'? Commercial returns on British warship construction, 1889-1914", Economic History Review , Vol LIV No 2 pp. 267-89.

Arnold A J (November 2000) Iron Shipbuilding on the Thames, 1832-1915 : an economic and business history , Ashgate, p 198.

McCartney S and A J Arnold (November 2000) "George Hudson's financial reporting practices: putting the Eastern Counties railway in context", Accounting Business and Financial History , Vol 10 No 3, pp. 293-316.


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