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

An Experiment in Fair Value Accounting: UK Investment Vehicles


Author Info

  • Jo Danbolt
  • William Rees
Registered author(s):


    We use the British real estate and investment fund industries as experimental settings where historic cost (HC) and fair value accounting (FVA) can be compared. Both industries have the majority of their assets marked to market and hence the difference between the two accounting systems is profound. However, as the valuation of real estate is arguably more subjective than that of investment funds, we are able to contrast fair value accounting in a near ideal setting with one where it remains important, but where valuation difficulties may permit bias. As this distinction is incorporated in the recently issued SFAS 157, which also formed the basis of the IASB's relevant discussion document, the results of our study may be particularly timely. As expected, we find that fair value income is considerably more value relevant than historic cost income. However, in the presence of changes in FVA balance sheet values, income measures become largely irrelevant. This implies that there is no obvious advantage from adopting FVA income accounting if FVA balance sheet values are available to the user. Furthermore, FVA for our real estate sample is considerably less value relevant than for the investment companies and the evidence for this sample, if not conclusive, is consistent with earnings management. We interpret these results as confirming that fair values are highly relevant and largely unbiased where the values are unambiguous. Where valuation is ambiguous, which will normally be the case, value relevance will be lower and biased accounting may be revealed.

    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): 17 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 271-303

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:17:y:2008:i:2:p:271-303

    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. 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.
    2. Marco Fasan & Carlo Marcon, 2014. "Accounting Tradition and other drivers of the Fair Value choice: An Opportunistic Management perspective," Working Papers 13, Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.
    3. 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.
    4. Konstantinos J. Liapis & Christos L.Galanos, 2010. "Accounting GAAPs and Accounting Treatments for Management of Property: Case Studies from Greek Real Estate Market," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(3), pages 169-194.
    5. Dana Dvořáková, 2011. "Fair Value Measurement in Financial Reporting," European Financial and Accounting Journal, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2011(1), pages 60-75.


    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:17:y:2008:i:2:p:271-303. 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.