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The negative impact of R&D capitalization: A value relevance approach

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  • Anne Cazavan-Jeny
  • Thomas Jeanjean

Abstract

Accounting for R&D costs is an open issue. SFAS N°2 mandates that all R&D costs must be immediately expensed. IAS 38 requires capitalization of R&D costs if they meet certain criteria. Recent research papers show the value relevance of capitalized R&D. We test the value relevance of R&D reporting in a sample of 197 French firms between 1993 and 2002. The French context provides an interesting field for R&D value relevance studies because both accounting treatments of R&D costs (expensing and capitalization) are allowed. Unlike previous studies, we find that capitalized R&D is negatively associated with stock prices and returns. This negative coefficient on capitalized R&D implies that investors are concerned with and react negatively to capitalization of R&D. We also find that the firms choosing to capitalize (successful) R&D are smaller, more highly leveraged, less profitable and have less growth opportunities. Taking into account these characteristics, our robustness checks confirm that capitalized R&D is not associated with higher prices and is related to lower returns.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne Cazavan-Jeny & Thomas Jeanjean, 2006. "The negative impact of R&D capitalization: A value relevance approach," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 37-61.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:15:y:2006:i:1:p:37-61 DOI: 10.1080/09638180500510384
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    1. Baskerville, Rachel F., 2003. "Hofstede never studied culture," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-14, January.
    2. Benston, George J. & Hartgraves, Al L., 2002. "Enron: what happened and what we can learn from it," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, pages 105-127.
    3. Quick, R. & Baker, R. & Mikol, A., 2001. "Regulation of the Statutory Auditor in the European Union: A Comparative Survey of the United Kingdom, France and Germany," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 67744, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
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    Cited by:

    1. Tami Dinh Thi & Wolfgang Schultze, 2011. "Capitalizing research & development and ‘other information’: the incremental information content of accruals versus cash flows," Metrika: International Journal for Theoretical and Applied Statistics, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 241-278, November.
    2. Jean-François Casta & Olivier Ramond & Lionel Escaffre, 2008. "Economic Properties of Recognized Intangibles under Domestic Accounting Standards: Evidence from European Capital Markets," Post-Print halshs-00681592, HAL.
    3. Guillaume Dumas, 2012. "Le Comportement Myopique D'Investissement En R&D : Une Realite En France ?," Post-Print hal-00690955, HAL.
    4. Corinne Bessieux-Ollier & Marie Chavent & Vanessa Kuentz & Elisabeth Walliser, 2012. "The mandatory adoption of IFRS on intangibles: upheaval or inertia? The case of France," International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 8(1), pages 91-113.
    5. Brigitte Eierle & Simone Wencki, 2016. "The determinants of capitalising development costs in private companies: evidence from Germany," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 86(3), pages 259-300, April.
    6. Jean-Michel Sahut & Sandrine Boulerne & Frédéric Teulon, 2011. "Do IFRS provide better information about intangibles in Europe?," Review of Accounting and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 10(3), pages 267-290, August.
    7. Constant Djama & Guillaume Dumas & Isabelle Martinez, 2011. "L'innovation : une incitation à la gestion des résultats ?," Post-Print hal-00650418, HAL.
    8. Ugo Lassini & Andrea Lionzo & Francesca Rossignoli, 2016. "Does business model affect accounting choices? An empirical analysis of European listed companies," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 20(2), pages 229-260, June.
    9. repec:dau:papers:123456789/2248 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Duarte Atoche Teresa & Pérez López José Ángel & Camúñez Ruíz José Antonio, 2012. "Información sobre I+D y valoración de empresas," Contaduría y Administración, Accounting and Management, vol. 57(4), pages 107-136, octubre-d.
    11. C. Ollier Bessieux & Marie Chavent & V. Kuentz & E. Walliser, 2009. "Les effets de l'adoption obligatoire des normes IFRS sur les incorporels : le cas de la France," Post-Print halshs-00458968, HAL.
    12. Riccardo Cimini & Alessandro Gaetano & Alessandra Pagani, 2014. "The relation between R&D accounting treatment and the risk of the firm: Evidence from the Italian market," FINANCIAL REPORTING, FrancoAngeli Editore, pages 33-54.
    13. Constant Djama & Guillaume Dumas & Isabelle Martinez, 2013. "Entreprises innovantes et gestion des résultats comptables," Post-Print hal-01002932, HAL.
    14. Shah, Syed Zulfiqar Ali & Liang, Shuang & Akbar, Saeed, 2013. "International Financial Reporting Standards and the value relevance of R&D expenditures: Pre and post IFRS analysis," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 158-169.
    15. Gaëlle Lenormand & Lionel Touchais, 2008. "La pertinence des actifs incorporels avec les IFRS," Revue Finance Contrôle Stratégie, revues.org, vol. 11(2), pages 173-201, June.
    16. repec:dau:papers:123456789/2641 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Bischof, Jannis & Ebert, Michael, 2007. "Inconsistent measurement and disclosure of non-contingent financial derivatives under IFRS : a behavioral perspective," Papers 07-02, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    18. Jean François Casta & Olivier Ramond & Lionel Escaffre, 2005. "Intangibles Investments and Accounting Numbers Usefulness : an Empirical Study of the European Stock Market," Post-Print hal-00769333, HAL.

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