Determinants of accounting policy choice in the Australian property industry: A portfolio approach

Michael J. Aitken*, Janice A. Loftus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this research is to explain accounting policy choice in the Australian property industry by reference to costly contracting theory. This paper makes three departures from the predominant literature. First, instead of focusing on a single policy choice, it focuses on a portfolio of 15 choices. Second, instead of measuring each policy choice dichotomously, it measures the dollar effect of each policy choice. Finally, the research focuses on the impact of policy choices on owners' equity as well as income. The results confirm the importance of compensation arrangements as a determinant of accounting policy choice but fail to provide evidence that debt constraints or political costs are significant determinants of accounting policy choice. These results suggest that including property firms in a more heterogeneous sample may reduce the power of tests on the debt constraints and political costs hypotheses. More generally (when compared to previous research) the results suggest that the determinants of policy choice are likely to be industry specific.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalAccounting & Finance
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


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