Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Decision Usefulness of Fair Value Accounting - A Theoretical Perspective


Author Info

  • Joerg-Markus Hitz
Registered author(s):


    Regulators such as the SEC and standard setting bodies such as the FASB and the IASB argue the case for the conceptual desirability of fair value measurement, notably on the relevance dimension. Recent standards on financial instruments and certain non-financial items adopt the new measurement paradigm. This paper takes issue with the notion of decision usefulness of a fair-value-based reporting system from a theoretical perspective. Emphasis is put on the evaluation of the theoretical soundness of the arguments put forward by regulators and standard setting bodies. The analysis is conducted as economic (a priori) analysis. Two approaches to decision usefulness are adopted, the measurement or valuation perspective and the information perspective. Findings indicate that the decision relevance of fair value measurement can be justified from both perspectives, yet the conceptual case is not strong. The information aggregation notion that underlies standard setters' endorsement of fair value measurement turns out to be theoretically restricted in its validity and applicability. Also, comparative analysis of fair value accounting vs. historical cost accounting yields mixed results. One immediate implication of the research - a condition for the further implementation of fair value accounting - is the need to clarify standard setters' notion of accounting income, its presumed contribution to decision relevance and its disaggregation.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal European Accounting Review.

    Volume (Year): 16 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 323-362

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:16:y:2007:i:2:p:323-362

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Order Information:

    Related research



    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Y. Biondi & P. Giannoccolo & A. Reberioux, 2010. "Financial disclosure and the Board: A case for non-independent directors," Working Papers 689, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    2. Fülbier, Rolf Uwe & Klein, Malte, 2013. "Financial accounting and reporting in Germany: A case study on German accounting tradition and experiences with the IFRS adoption," Bayreuth Working Papers on Finance, Accounting and Taxation (FAcT-Papers) 2013-01, University of Bayreuth, Chair of Finance and Banking.
    3. Comello, Stephen D. & Maltais-Landry, Gabriel & Schwegler, Benedict R. & Lepech, Michael D., 2014. "Firm-level ecosystem service valuation using mechanistic biogeochemical modeling and functional substitutability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 63-73.
    4. Chedli Baccouche & Sana Ben Ghodbane, 2012. "Fair value evaluation: analysis and determinants," International Journal of Critical Accounting, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 4(1), pages 77-91.
    5. Gregory Heem & Dominique Dufour, 2012. "Crise financière et comptabilité : le cas du reclassement des instruments financiers dans les banques européennes," Post-Print halshs-00721108, HAL.
    6. Ulf Br&?ggemann & J?rg-Markus Hitz & Thorsten Sellhorn, 2013. "Intended and Unintended Consequences of Mandatory IFRS Adoption: A Review of Extant Evidence and Suggestions for Future Research," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 1-37, May.
    7. Schaltegger, Stefan & Burritt, Roger L., 2010. "Sustainability accounting for companies: Catchphrase or decision support for business leaders?," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 375-384, October.
    8. Yuan Ding & Thomas Jeanjean & Cédric Lesage & Hervé Stolowy, 2009. "An Experiment in the Economic Consequences of Additional Disclosure: The Case of the Fair Value of Unlisted Equity Investments," Post-Print halshs-00458950, HAL.
    9. David Procházka, 2009. "The Hicks’ Concept of Income and Its Relevancy for Accounting Purposes," European Financial and Accounting Journal, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2009(1), pages 37-60.
    10. Lionel Escaffre & Réda Sefsaf, 2013. "L'impact de l'évaluation IFRS des écarts d'acquisition sur la gestion des résultats : Cas de la France et du Royaume-Uni," Post-Print hal-00996787, HAL.
    11. Masaki Kusano, 2012. "Does the Balance Sheet Approach Improve the Usefulness of Accounting Information?," The Japanese Accounting Review, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University, vol. 2, pages 139-152, December.


    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:16:y:2007:i:2:p:323-362. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.