Finance, accounting and corporate governance
fair value, recognition versus disclosure, IFRS, investment property
This paper examines pricing differences across recognized and disclosed fair values. We build on prior literature by examining two theoretical causes of such differences: lower reliability of the disclosed information, and/or investors' higher related information processing costs. We examine European real estate firms reporting under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which require that fair values for investment properties, our sample firms' key operating asset, either be recognized on the balance sheet or disclosed in the footnotes. Consistent with prior research, we predict and find a lower association between equity prices and disclosed relative to recognized investment property fair values, reflecting a discount applied to disclosed fair values. We then predict and find that this discount is mitigated by lower information processing costs (proxied via high analyst following), and some support that it is also mitigated by higher reliability (proxied via use of external appraisals). These latter results are documented using subsample analyses to test one attribute (either information processing costs or reliability) while holding the other constant. Overall, these findings are consistent with fair value reliability and information processing costs providing complementary explanations for observed pricing discounts assessed on disclosed accounting amounts.
With the permission of the American Accounting Association