51 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2018

See all articles by Baruch Lev

Baruch Lev

New York University - Stern School of Business

Date Written: July 23, 2018


The continued growth of intangible investments is the hallmark of developed economies, initiating significant changes in the business models, strategies and performance of business enterprises. Accounting standard‐setters, however, by and large, are oblivious to this world‐wide development. I establish in this study that this accounting resistance to change seriously harms investors and the economy‐at‐large, and accordingly I propose feasible remedial changes to the accounting system to adapt it to economic reality. I discuss implementation issues of the proposed change, and the reasons for the three-decade resistance of accounting standard‐setters to change the accounting of intangibles. Finally, in order to facilitate the accounting change, I outline a wide‐ranging, policy-oriented research agenda on intangibles and related issues.

Keywords: Intangibles, financial reports, accounting policies, technology, research agenda

JEL Classification: M41, G14, G3

Suggested Citation

Lev, Baruch Itamar, Intangibles (July 23, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Baruch Itamar Lev (Contact Author)

New York University - Stern School of Business ( email )

40 West 4th Street, Suite 400
New York, NY 10012
United States
212-998-0028 (Phone)
212-995-4001 (Fax)


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