The Australian accounting environment provides an ideal setting for examining the impact of different accounting treatments of firms’ R&D activities on their subsequent returns. Unlike US firms, which can only expense R&D, Australian GAAP permits firms to either expense or capitalize their R&D expenditure. We examine separately the market impact of the R&D intensity of all R&D active firms, ‘capitalizers’ and ‘expensers’. Our results suggest that firms with higher R&D intensity perform better, regardless of the accounting method used, consistent with the resource-based view of the firm. We also find some evidence that firms which expense R&D outperform those which capitalize R&D after controlling for R&D intensity.
Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting – Springer Journals
Published: May 4, 2007
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