Performing Up to Par: Hospitality Firms After ASU 2016-02

Youngki Jang, Crocker H. Liu, David Weinbaum, Nir Yehuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Relative to sales, the average operating lease commitments of hospitality firms are 4 times larger than those of other publicly traded firms. In response to the recently enacted accounting standards update No. 2016-02 (ASU 2016-02) that requires lessees to recognize operating leases on their balance sheet, hospitality firms decreased their use of operating leases, switching to shorter-term off-balance sheet leases. We find that this change did not have negative consequences on firm performance, shareholders, or employees. The only significant effect we do find is an improvement in credit ratings for firms that reduced operating leases in response to the new standard. Our findings are inconsistent with the concerns some hospitality managers and academics expressed prior to the introduction of the standard.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCornell Hospitality Quarterly
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • hospitality industry
  • leases
  • recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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