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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|9869||2001||73 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Accounting and Economics, 31 (2001) 3–75
In this paper we critically evaluate the standard-setting inferences that can be drawn from value relevance research studies that are motivated by standard setting. Our evaluation concentrates on the theories of accounting, standard setting and valuation that underlie those inferences. Unless those underlying theories are descriptive of accounting, standard setting and valuation, the value-relevance literature’s reported associations between accounting numbers and common equity valuations have limited implications or inferences for standard setting; they are mere associations. We argue that the underlying theories are not descriptive and hence drawing standard-setting inferences is difficult.
Over the last decade numerous accounting papers investigate the empirical relation between stock market values (or changes in values) and particular accounting numbers for the purpose of assessing or providing a basis of assessing those numbers’ use or proposed use in an accounting standard. We call the group of papers that are at least partially motivated by standard-setting purposes, the ‘‘value-relevance’’ literature. This paper’s objective is to critically evaluate the standard-setting inferences that can be drawn from these value relevance papers. The evaluation provides suggestions for future research for standard-setting purposes. Our evaluation concentrates on the accounting, standard-setting and valuation theories underlying the value-relevance literature’s standard-setting inferences. The reason is those inferences are likely to be useful to standard setters only if the underlying theories are descriptive (in the sense of explaining and predicting accounting, standard setting and valuation). Without descriptive theories to interpret the empirical associations, the value-relevance literature’s associations have limited implications or inferences for standard setting; they are just associations. For example, consider standard-setting inferences based on a theory that assumes standard setters consider a ‘‘high’’ association with stock values a ‘‘desirable’’ attribute for accounting earnings. Those inferences are not likely to be useful if the evidence suggests standard setters do not consider stock value association an important attribute.1 Simple assertions by authors that standard setters should consider that attribute desirable are not sufficient for scientific research. Those authors have to specify the objective of standard setting and how using the association criterion helps standard setters achieve that objective. If the specified objective and the association criterion do not explain or predict standard setters’ actions, it is incumbent on the authors to explain (i) why standard setters do not pursue that objective and (ii) why pursuit of that objective is relevant and feasible. In our evaluation we address some econometric issues that arise in value-relevance studies. We do it during our evaluation of the underlying theories rather than highlight the issues separately because solutions to econometric problems necessarily depend on the underlying theory. There are several other papers that specifically address econometric issues that arise in the value-relevance literature (e.g., Lambert, 1996; Lys, 1996; Skinner, 1996, 1999). Numerous papers address the empirical relation between accounting numbers and stock market values without drawing standard-setting inferences (see Kothari, 2001). For example, the capital markets literature in accounting provides evidence on topics such as the information content of accounting numbers and the determinants of earnings response coefficients. Our assessments of valuation theories and their assumed links to accounting numbers (Section 5) are directly applicable to papers in the capital markets literature that rely on those valuation theories. Another accounting literature addresses reasons various parties to standard setting (for example, management) prefer particular accounting method alternatives (see Fields et al., 2001). Our evaluation of the value-relevance literature suggests that other literature is important to standard setting. The other literature is important because it can identify factors that influence accounting standard setting (e.g., contracting) but which are not generally incorporated into value-relevance studies.3 Consideration of those factors is necessary to develop a descriptive theory of accounting and standard setting that could provide standard-setting inferences (see Sections 3 and 4). The theories of accounting and standard setting underlying value-relevance studies generally do not incorporate factors other than association with equity value.