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Inflation and Nominal Financial Reporting: Implications for Performance and Stock Prices

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  • Konchitchki, Yaniv

Abstract

The monetary unit assumption of financial accounting assumes a stable currency (i.e., constant purchasing power over time). Yet, even during periods of low inflation or deflation, nominal financial statements violate this assumption. I posit that, while the effects of inflation are not recognized in nominal statements, such effects may have economic consequences. I find that unrecognized inflation gains and losses help predict future cash flows as these gains and losses turn into cash flows over time. I also find significant abnormal returns to inflation-based trading strategies, suggesting that stock prices do not fully reflect the implications of the inflation effects for future cash flows. Additional analysis reveals that stock prices act as if investors do not fully distinguish monetary and nonmonetary assets, which is fundamental to determining the effects of inflation. Overall, this study is the first to show that, although inflation effects are not recognized in nominal financial statements, they have significant economic consequences, even during a period in which inflation is relatively low.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 52928.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Publication status: Published in The Accounting Review 3.86(2011): pp. 1045-1085
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:52928

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Related research

Keywords: inflation; asset pricing; information; financial reporting; abnormal returns; cash flows; capital markets;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Konchitchki, Yaniv, 2013. "Accounting and the Macroeconomy: The Case of Aggregate Price-Level Effects on Individual Stocks," MPRA Paper 52934, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Konchitchki, Yaniv & Patatoukas, Panos N., 2014. "Accounting earnings and gross domestic product," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 76-88.
  3. Barth, Mary E. & Konchitchki, Yaniv & Landsman, Wayne R., 2008. "Cost of Capital and Earnings Transparency," Research Papers 2015, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  4. Juneja, Januj, 2014. "Term structure estimation in the presence of autocorrelation," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 119-129.

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