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Market Transparency and the Accounting Regime




ABSTRACT We model the interaction of financial market transparency and different accounting regimes. This paper provides a theoretical rationale for the recently proposed shift in accounting standards from historic cost accounting to marking to market. The paper shows that marking to market can provide investors with an early warning mechanism while historical cost gives management a "veil" under which they can potentially mask a firm's true economic performance. The model provides new explanations for several empirical findings and has some novel implications. We show that greater opacity in financial markets leads to more frequent and more severe crashes in asset prices (under a historic-cost-accounting regime). Moreover, our model indicates that historic cost accounting can make the financial market more rather than less volatile, which runs counter to conventional wisdom. The mechanism shown in the model also sheds light on the cause of many financial scandals in recent years. Copyright University of Chicago on behalf of the Institute of Professional Accounting, 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Bleck & Xuewen Liu, 2007. "Market Transparency and the Accounting Regime," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 229-256, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:joares:v:45:y:2007:i:2:p:229-256

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    Cited by:

    1. Maurer, Raimond & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Rogalla, Ralph & Siegelin, Ivonne, 2016. "Accounting and actuarial smoothing of retirement payouts in participating life annuities," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 268-283.
    2. repec:eee:riibaf:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:262-274 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ellul, Andrew & Jotikasthira, Chotibhak & Lundblad, Christian T. & Wang, Yihui, 2013. "Mark-to-market accounting and systemic risk: evidence from the insurance industry," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60968, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Xu, Nianhang & Li, Xiaorong & Yuan, Qingbo & Chan, Kam C., 2014. "Excess perks and stock price crash risk: Evidence from China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 419-434.
    5. Bill Francis & Iftekhar Hasan & Lingxiang Li, 2016. "Abnormal real operations, real earnings management, and subsequent crashes in stock prices," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 217-260, February.
    6. Blakespoor, Elizabeth & Linsmeier, Thomas J. & Petroni, Kathy & Shakespeare, Catherine, 2012. "Fair Value Accounting for Financial Instruments: Does It Improve the Association between Bank Leverage and Credit Risk?," Research Papers 2107, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    7. Andrew Ellul & Chotibhak Jotikasthira & Christian T. Lundblad & Yihui Wang, 2014. "Is Historical Cost Accounting a Panacea? Market Stress, Incentive Distortions, and Gains Trading," CSEF Working Papers 375, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    8. : Panayiotis C. Andreou & : Constantinos Antoniou & : Joanne Horton & : Christodoulos Louca, 2013. "Corporate Governance and Firm-Specific stock Price Crashes," Working Papers wpn13-06, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
    9. Kim, Jeong-Bon & Li, Yinghua & Zhang, Liandong, 2011. "CFOs versus CEOs: Equity incentives and crashes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 713-730, September.
    10. Ellul, Andrew & Jotikasthira, Chotibhak & Lundblad, Christian T & Wang, Yihui, 2015. "Is Historical Cost Accounting a Panacea? Market Stress, Incentive Distortions, and Gains Trading," CEPR Discussion Papers 10450, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Benhabib, Jess & Liu, Xuewen & Wang, Pengfei, 2016. "Sentiments, financial markets, and macroeconomic fluctuations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 420-443.
    12. Yogesh Chauhan & Sudhakara Reddy Syamala & Kavita Wadhwa, 2015. "Board busyness and crash risk: evidence from Indian stock market," International Journal of Corporate Governance, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 6(1), pages 1-24.
    13. Josep Ma. Argiles (UB) & Josep Garcia Bladon (IQS) & Teresa Monllau (UPF), 2009. "Fair value versus historic cost Valuation for Biological assets: Implications for the quality of financial information," Working Papers in Economics 215, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
    14. repec:eee:spacre:v:15:y:2012:i:1:p:109-142 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Maurer, Raimond & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Rogalla, Ralph & Siegelin, Ivonne, 2015. "Accounting-based asset return smoothing in participating life annuities: Implications for annuitants, insurers, and policymakers," CFS Working Paper Series 518, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    16. Couch, Robert & Wu, Wei, 2016. "The fair value option for liabilities and stock returns during the financial crisis," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 83-98.
    17. Wael Louhichi & Ousayna Zreik, 2015. "Corporate Risk Reporting: A study of The Impact of Risk Disclosure on Firms Reputation," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(4), pages 2395-2408.
    18. Wei Zhu, 2016. "Accruals and price crashes," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 349-399, June.
    19. Kim, Jeong-Bon & Li, Yinghua & Zhang, Liandong, 2011. "Corporate tax avoidance and stock price crash risk: Firm-level analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 639-662, June.
    20. Julien Clavier, 2011. "Transition aux normes comptables IAS/IFRS, discipline de marché et adéquation des fonds propres aux risques dans l'industrie bancaire européenne," Post-Print hal-00646838, HAL.
    21. repec:spt:apfiba:v:7:y:2017:i:4:f:7_4_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Michele Fabrizi & Elisabetta Ipino & Michel Magnan & Antonio Parbonetti, 2016. "Real Regulatory Capital Management and Dividend Payout: Evidence from Available-for-Sale Securities / Gestion du capital réglementaire et politique de dividende : Le cas des valeurs mobilières disponi," CIRANO Working Papers 2016s-57, CIRANO.
    23. Xu, Nianhang & Jiang, Xuanyu & Chan, Kam C. & Yi, Zhihong, 2013. "Analyst coverage, optimism, and stock price crash risk: Evidence from China," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 217-239.
    24. Li, Jing, 2017. "Accounting for banks, capital regulation and risk-taking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 102-121.

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