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Book vs. fair value accounting in banking and intertemporal smoothing



The aim of this paper is to examine the pros and cons of book and fair value accounting from the perspective of the theory of banking. We consider the implications of the two accounting methods in an overlapping generations environment. As observed by Allen and Gale(1997), in an overlapping generation model, banks have a role as intergenerational connectors as they allow for intertemporal smoothing. Our main result is that when dividends depend on profits, book value ex ante dominates fair value, as it provides better intertemporal smoothing. This is in contrast with the standard view that states that, fair value yields a better allocation as it reflects the real opportunity cost of assets. Banking regulation play an important role by providing the right incentives for banks to smooth intertemporal consumption whereas market discipline improves intratemporal efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Xavier Freixas & Dimitrios P. Tsomocos, 2004. "Book vs. fair value accounting in banking and intertemporal smoothing," Economics Working Papers 771, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:771

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467-467.
    2. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
    3. Sudipto Bhattacharya & Paolo Fulghieri & Riccardo Rovelli, 1998. "Financial Intermediation Versus Stock Markets in a Dynamic Intertemporal Model," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 154(1), pages 291-291, March.
    4. Andrea Enria & Lorenzo Cappiello & Frank Dierick & Sergio Grittini & Andrew Haralambous & Angela Maddaloni & Philippe Molitor & Fatima Pires & Paolo Poloni, 2004. "Fair value accounting and financial stability," Occasional Paper Series 13, European Central Bank.
    5. Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 1997. "Financial Markets, Intermediaries, and Intertemporal Smoothing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 523-546, June.
    6. Philippe Aghion, Patrick Bolton & Steven Fries, 1999. "Optimal Design of Bank Bailouts: The Case of Transition Economies," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(1), pages 1-51, March.
    7. Qi, Jianping, 1994. "Bank Liquidity and Stability in an Overlapping Generations Model," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(2), pages 389-417.
    8. Gorton, Gary & Pennacchi, George, 1990. " Financial Intermediaries and Liquidity Creation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 49-71, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luc Laeven & Harry Huizinga, 2009. "Accounting discretion of banks during a financial crisis," IMF Working Papers 09/207, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Bouvatier, Vincent & Lepetit, Laetitia, 2008. "Banks' procyclical behavior: Does provisioning matter?," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 513-526, December.
    3. Vincent Bouvatier & Laetitia Lepetit, 2006. "Banks'procyclicality behavior : does provisioning matter ?," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques bla06035, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
    4. Palea, Vera, 2014. "Financial Reporting for Varieties of Capitalism: The Case Against a Single Set of International Financial Reporting Standards," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201442, University of Turin.
    5. Bannier, Christina E., 2007. "Smoothing versus timeliness - wann sind stabile Ratings optimal und welche Anforderungen sind an optimale Berichtsregeln zu stellen?," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 84, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    6. Allen, Franklin & Carletti, Elena, 2008. "Mark-to-market accounting and liquidity pricing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2-3), pages 358-378, August.
    7. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00115622 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Li, Jing, 2017. "Accounting for banks, capital regulation and risk-taking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 102-121.

    More about this item


    Banking; shocks; insurance; intertemporal; Overlapping Generations Equilibrium;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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