Ball and Brown (1968): A Retrospective

44 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2013 Last revised: 19 Sep 2014

See all articles by Ray Ball

Ray Ball

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Philip R. Brown

UWA Business School, M250; Financial Research Network (FIRN)

Date Written: September 3, 2013


This essay provides a retrospective view on our co-authored paper, Ball and Brown (1968). The retrospective was commissioned by Gregory Waymire, then President of the American Accounting Association. It describes how we both came to be PhD students at the University of Chicago and set about researching the relation between earnings and share prices. It outlines the background against which we conducted the research, including the largely a priori accounting research literature at the time and the electric atmosphere and radical new ideas then in full bloom at Chicago. We describe some of the principal research choices we made, and their strengths and weaknesses. We also describe the reception our research received and how the related literature subsequently unfolded.

Keywords: Ball-Brown, earnings, usefulness, timeliness, anomalies, event study

JEL Classification: B30, G14, M41

Suggested Citation

Ball, Ray and Brown, Philip R., Ball and Brown (1968): A Retrospective (September 3, 2013). FIRN Research Paper, Accounting Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Ray Ball (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

Philip R. Brown

UWA Business School, M250 ( email )

Crawley, Western Australia 6009

Financial Research Network (FIRN)

C/- University of Queensland Business School
St Lucia, 4071 Brisbane


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