POSITIVE ACCOUNTING THEORY Definition

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POSITIVE ACCOUNTING THEORY is where theorists tend to explain why some accounting practices are more popular than others (e.g., because they increase management compensation). They tend to support their conclusions with inductive theory and empirical evidence as opposed to deductive methods. Generally avoid advocacy of one accounting rule as being better or worse than its alternatives. Positivists are inspired by anecdotal evidence, but anecdotal evidence is never permitted without more rigorous and controlled scientific investigation.

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ECONOMIC VALUE ADDED (EVA) measures the difference between the return on a company's capital and the cost of that capital. A positive EVA indicates that value has been created for shareholders; a negative EVA signifies value destruction.

RISK-FREE RATE is the rate of return available in the market on an investment free of default risk.

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