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Sellhorn, Thorsten and Stier, Christian (2019): Fair Value Measurement for Long-Lived Operating Assets: Research Evidence. In: European Accounting Review, Vol. 28, No. 3: pp. 573-603

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This paper reviews research evidence on the usefulness of fair value measurement of long-lived operating assets for financial reporting. Although economically material, these assets have been sidelined in the current fair value debate that largely centers on financial assets, from which operating assets differ in important respects. Our review provides several insights. First, fair value measurement is pervasive for investment property, while nearly non-existent for PP&E and intangible assets. Second, external fair value appraisers help enhance the decision usefulness of fair values. Third, the determinants of fair-value-related reporting choices vary by context and are not yet well-understood. Fourth, fair value measurement is largely useful when it comes to the valuation role of financial reporting, but this usefulness varies across recognized and disclosed fair values. Fifth, the contracting implications of fair value measurement for long-lived operating assets are severely under-researched. Overall, whereas extant research provides relevant insights, it is derived from diverse settings employing different measures and research designs, and does not yet provide an accumulation of evidence sufficient for final clarity about the determinants and consequences of fair value measurement for long-lived operating assets. Based on this conclusion, we develop several suggestions for future research in this area.

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