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The Decision Usefulness of Fair Value Accounting - A Theoretical Perspective

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  • Joerg-Markus Hitz
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    Abstract

    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.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09638180701390974
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    Bibliographic Info

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

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

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:16:y:2007:i:2:p:323-362

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    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.

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