Fair Value Measurement in Financial Reporting
Foundations and Trends in Accounting, Vol. 9, Forthcoming
136 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2014 Last revised: 9 Nov 2014
Date Written: October 19, 2014
This monograph provides a historically informed discussion of conceptual and procedural issues related to the use of the fair value measurement attribute in financial reporting. Our goal is to provide a structure, based on the conceptual frameworks of the Financial Accounting Standards Board and International Accounting Standards Board, for researchers’ evaluations of empirical research studies that investigate the informational properties of all measurement bases, including fair values. We begin by defining, addressing misconceptions about, and providing a brief history of, the fair value measurement attribute. We next discuss decision usefulness of fair value and other measurement bases, and describe and evaluate examples of empirical research that documents the decision usefulness of recognized and disclosed fair value information, focusing on predictive ability, value relevance and risk relevance. We also discuss the role of verifiability in the context of relevant and faithfully represented accounting information; describe three untested, verifiability-related maintained assumptions that arise in discussions of fair-value-measurement research; and discuss research designs for investigating questions related to accounting measurement verifiability. Finally, we discuss claims that use of the fair value measurement attribute causes procyclical behavior among financial institutions and that accounting standards have become increasingly fair-value-oriented during the last two decades.
Keywords: fair value, financial accounting, measurement, relevance, representational faithfulness
JEL Classification: M40, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation