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Optimal payout ratio under uncertainty and the flexibility hypothesis: Theory and empirical evidence

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  • Lee, Cheng-Few
  • Gupta, Manak C.
  • Chen, Hong-Yi
  • Lee, Alice C.
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    Abstract

    Following the dividend flexibility hypothesis used by DeAngelo and DeAngelo (2006), Blau and Fuller (2008), and others, we theoretically extend the proposition of DeAngelo and DeAngelo (2006) optimal payout policy in terms of the flexibility dividend hypothesis. In addition, we also introduce growth rate, systematic risk, and total risk variables into the theoretical model. To test the theoretical results derived in this paper, we use the data collected in the US from 1969 to 2009 to investigate the impact of the growth rate, systematic risk, and total risk on the optimal payout ratio in terms of the fixed-effect model. We find that based on flexibility considerations, a company will reduce its payout when the growth rate increases. In addition, we find that a nonlinear relationship exists between the payout ratio and the risk. In other words, the relationship between the payout ratio and the risk is negative (or positive) when the growth rate is higher (or lower) than the rate of return on total assets. Our theoretical model and empirical results can therefore be used to identify whether flexibility or the free cash flow hypothesis should be used to determine the dividend policy.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Corporate Finance.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (June)
    Pages: 483-501

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:3:p:483-501

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcorpfin

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    Keywords: Dividends Flexibility hypothesis Payout policy Fixed-effects model;

    References

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    Cited by:
    1. Pawan Jain & Quentin Chu, 2014. "Dividend clienteles: a global investigation," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 509-534, April.
    2. Mónika Kuti, 2011. "Cash Flow at Risk, Financial Flexibility and Financing Constraint," Public Finance Quarterly, State Audit Office of Hungary, vol. 56(4), pages 505-517.
    3. Chen, Hong-Yi & Gupta, Manak C. & Lee, Alice C. & Lee, Cheng-Few, 2013. "Sustainable growth rate, optimal growth rate, and optimal payout ratio: A joint optimization approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1205-1222.
    4. Özgür Arslan-Ayaydin & Chris Florackis & Aydin Ozkan, 2014. "Financial flexibility, corporate investment and performance: evidence from financial crises," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 211-250, February.

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