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A positive theory of flexibility in accounting standards


  • Dye, Ronald A.
  • Sridhar, Sri S.


We develop a positive theory of accounting standards when standards generate network externalities and differ in the amount of reporting discretion, or flexibility, they provide firms. We evaluate expected value-maximizing firms' preferences between two standards regimes, rigid and flexible, as the number of firms subject to each standard varies, as the organization of the securities market varies, and as the mapping from the underlying economics of the firms' transactions to the accounting reports produced under the two standards vary. We also compare firms' preferences between the two regimes to the preferences of profit-maximizing traders in the firms' securities.

Suggested Citation

  • Dye, Ronald A. & Sridhar, Sri S., 2008. "A positive theory of flexibility in accounting standards," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2-3), pages 312-333, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:46:y:2008:i:2-3:p:312-333

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    9. Leftwich, Richard, 1980. "Market failure fallacies and accounting information," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 193-211, December.
    10. Fields, Thomas D. & Lys, Thomas Z. & Vincent, Linda, 2001. "Empirical research on accounting choice," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-3), pages 255-307, September.
    11. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-1335, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mitchell Oler, 2015. "Determinants of the length of time a firm’s book-to-market ratio is greater than one," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 509-539, October.
    2. Beyer, Anne & Cohen, Daniel A. & Lys, Thomas Z. & Walther, Beverly R., 2010. "The financial reporting environment: Review of the recent literature," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 296-343, December.
    3. Bertomeu, Jeremy & Magee, Robert P., 2011. "From low-quality reporting to financial crises: Politics of disclosure regulation along the economic cycle," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 209-227.


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