Background Note | HBS Case Collection | November 2005 (Revised July 2006)

Understanding Economic Value Added

by Mihir A. Desai, Fabrizio Ferri and Steve Treadwell


Explores the concept of economic value added (EVA) and its practical applications as a management control system for performance measurement and incentive compensation. Explains how EVA is measured and explores some of the adjustments to financial statements that are required to measure EVA. Provides a fully worked example of a firm's measurement of its EVA, both before and after adjustments to its financial statements. Describes several types of EVA bonus schemes and discusses both the benefits and limitations of EVA.

Keywords: Value;


Desai, Mihir A., Fabrizio Ferri, and Steve Treadwell. "Understanding Economic Value Added." Harvard Business School Background Note 206-016, November 2005. (Revised July 2006.)