This paper explores firms' decisions to own or lease buildings, the economics underlying those decisions, and the accounting ramifications. We provide a theoretical argument and empirical evidence to suggest that firms that require highly specific buildings in their operations are more likely to own, rather than to lease, their buildings, and that this decision is primarily a function of efficiency concerns rather than opportunistic motives. Our findings raise the question of whether certain types of leases (i.e., property or real estate leases in particular) warrant the added complexity and costly compliance from standards overhaul.

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