Should Intangibles Be Measured: What Are the Economic Trade-Offs?
We investigate whether a firm's intangible investments should be measured and separated from operating expenses. We find that the information extracted from accounting reports of investments and earnings is different when intangibles are measured and identified separately from operating expenses than when intangibles are left commingled with operating expenses. This difference in the market's information causes a change in the behavior of market prices, inducing changes in the firm's investments and cash flows. Thus, from a "real effects" perspective, measuring intangibles is not unambiguously desirable. We identify the conditions under which providing information on intangibles may be desirable. This study also shows the inadequacy of statistical associations between accounting numbers and prices as a basis for evaluating the desirability of measuring intangible investments. We show that the measurement of intangibles alters the very distribution of cash flows about which the measurement regime is seeking to provide information. Copyright University of Chicago on behalf of the Institute of Professional Accounting, 2004.
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.
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.
Volume (Year): 42 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0021-8456|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/subs.asp?ref=0021-8456|