Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Information Technology

First Advisor

Xiaolu Xu

Second Advisor

Atreya Chakraborty

Third Advisor

Kiran Verma


This paper studies the impact of pension accounting on firm value. Our work is based on the published article “Footnotes aren’t enough: the impact of pension accounting on stock values” by Julia Coronado, Olivia S. Mitchell, Steven A. Sharpe, and S. Blake Nesbitt (CORONADO [2008]) which examines the measures of pension accounting embedded in the financial statements from 1993-2005. They conclude that “Investors continue to misvalue defined benefit (DB) pensions that induce sizable valuation errors in the stock of many companies” (CORONADO [2008]). We extend this study by investigating the impact of defined benefit plan on companies’ stock prices from 2006 to 2015. During 2006 to 2015, Financial Accounting Standard require employer provide more information about their DB pension fund, such as pension fund status and pension net assets, we hope to find out whether pension accounting improve based on new standards. We find that stock prices reflect economic value of net pension assets instead of pension accruals after 2006. Our results are more consistent with the “transparent model” of pension valuation since 2006, which implies that the evolution of pension accounting standards in the past decade have improved investors’ evaluation of the defined pension benefit plan and firm value.


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