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Volume 24, Numbers 3 & 4 / September/December 2020 ,
Multinational Finance Journal, 2020, vol. 24, no. 3/4, pp. 119-154
Haim Kedar-Levy , Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel    Corresponding Author
Elroi Hadad , Shamoon Collage of Engineering (SCE), Israel
Gitit Gur-Gershgoren , Ono Academic College, Israel

Abstract:
The discount rate reporting entities apply for future employee benefits obligations has a profound impact on their present value, both at the firm and at the country level. The IAS-19 accounting standard requires the existence of a ‘deep market’ in high-quality corporate bonds in order to use their yields as the discount rate, and in its absence, the often-lower government bond yields should be used. From a financial economics perspective, the term ‘deep market’ is vaguely defined in IAS-19, therefore we propose a dual approach. First, from the macro-economic perspective, we explore funding liquidity, and second, from the micro-economic perspective, we measure the illiquidity premium in high-quality corporate bonds. We argue that both aspects are essential because they are inter-connected. Our approach is tested empirically on a sample of 32 countries, with detailed analysis of the Israeli market as a case in point.

Keywords : IAS-19; deep market; employee benefits; market liquidity; funding liquidity
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