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Yes, dividends are disappearing: Worldwide evidence

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  • Fatemi, Ali
  • Bildik, Recep
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    Abstract

    This study examines the patterns in payout policies worldwide. Utilizing data from a sample of more than 17,000 companies from 33 different countries, we find evidence in support of a significant worldwide decline in the propensity to pay dividends. Most of the decline is due to the payout policies of smaller and less profitable firms with comparatively more investment opportunities. We find that larger firms, those with higher profitability, and firms with low growth opportunities have a greater propensity to pay dividends. The proportion of dividend payers varies substantially across industries as well. However, the proportion of firms paying dividends has declined over time, even after firms’ characteristics have been controlled for. Moreover, aggregate dividends are highly concentrated in that they are paid only by a small group of firms. Our findings indicate that there has been a significant decline in the average dividend payout ratios over the years. The decline in the mean dividend payout ratios as well as the proportion of payers is much more pronounced in civil law countries.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 662-677

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:36:y:2012:i:3:p:662-677

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Dividends; Dividend payout policy; International dividend policy;

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    1. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1768, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
      • La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
      • Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Law and Finance," Working Paper 19451, Harvard University OpenScholar.
      • Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Agency Problems and Dividend Policies Around the World," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1839, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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    7. DeAngelo, Harry & DeAngelo, Linda & Skinner, Douglas J., 2004. "Are dividends disappearing? Dividend concentration and the consolidation of earnings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 425-456, June.
    8. Malcolm Baker & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2003. "A Catering Theory of Dividends," NBER Working Papers 9542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    10. Gustavo Grullon & Roni Michaely, 2002. "Dividends, Share Repurchases, and the Substitution Hypothesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(4), pages 1649-1684, 08.
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