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Payout policy and cash-flow uncertainty

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  • Chay, J.B.
  • Suh, Jungwon
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    Abstract

    The importance of cash-flow uncertainty in payout policy has received little attention in empirical studies, while survey studies such as [Lintner, J., 1956. Distribution of incomes of operations among dividends, retained earnings, and taxes. American Economic Review 46, 97-113.] and [Brav, A., Graham, J., Harvey C., Michaely, R., 2005. Payout policy in the 21st century. Journal of Financial Economics 77, 483-527.] indicate its importance. With worldwide firm-level data, we present evidence that cash-flow uncertainty is an important cross-sectional determinant of corporate payout policy. Our results show that across countries, cash-flow uncertainty, as proxied by stock return volatility, has a negative impact on the amount of dividends as well as the probability of paying dividends. The impact of cash-flow uncertainty on dividends is generally stronger than the impact of other potential determinants of payout policy--such as the earned/contributed capital mix, agency conflicts, and investment opportunities. We also find that the effect of cash-flow uncertainty on dividends is distinct from the effect of a firm's financial life-cycle stage.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Economics.

    Volume (Year): 93 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 (July)
    Pages: 88-107

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:93:y:2009:i:1:p:88-107

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576

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    Keywords: Cash-flow uncertainty Dividend Repurchase;

    References

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    1. Malcolm Baker & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2004. "A Catering Theory of Dividends," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(3), pages 1125-1165, 06.
    2. Alon Brav & John R. Graham & Campbell R. Harvey & Roni Michaely, 2003. "Payout Policy in the 21st Century," NBER Working Papers 9657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1840, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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    6. Gustavo Grullon & Roni Michaely & Bhaskaran Swaminathan, 2002. "Are Dividend Changes a Sign of Firm Maturity?," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(3), pages 387-424, July.
    7. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 2000. "Agency Problems and Dividend Policies around the World," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 1-33, 02.
    8. 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.
    9. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    10. Eugene F. Fama & Kenneth R. French, 2001. "Disappearing Dividends: Changing Firm Characteristics Or Lower Propensity To Pay?," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 14(1), pages 67-79.
    11. Smith, Clifford Jr. & Watts, Ross L., 1992. "The investment opportunity set and corporate financing, dividend, and compensation policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 263-292, December.
    12. Jensen, Gerald R. & Solberg, Donald P. & Zorn, Thomas S., 1992. "Simultaneous Determination of Insider Ownership, Debt, and Dividend Policies," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(02), pages 247-263, June.
    13. Easterbrook, Frank H, 1984. "Two Agency-Cost Explanations of Dividends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 650-59, September.
    14. Shlomo Benartzi & Roni Michaely & Richard Thaler, . "Do Changes in Dividends Signal the Future or the Past?," CRSP working papers 327, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    15. DeAngelo, Harry & DeAngelo, Linda & Stulz, Rene M., 2006. "Dividend policy and the earned/contributed capital mix: a test of the life-cycle theory," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 227-254, August.
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    Cited by:
    1. Deng, Lu & Li, Sifei & Liao, Mingqing & Wu, Weixing, 2013. "Dividends, investment and cash flow uncertainty: Evidence from China," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 112-124.
    2. Yuting Huang & Anlin Chen & Lanfeng Kao, 2012. "Corporate governance in Taiwan: The nonmonotonic relationship between family ownership and dividend policy," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 39-58, March.
    3. Thomas O'Connor & Julie Byrne, 2012. "Shareholder and creditor legal rights and the outcome model of dividends," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n225-12.pdf, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    4. Byrne, Julie & O’Connor, Thomas, 2012. "Creditor rights and the outcome model of dividends," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 227-242.
    5. Andriosopoulos, Dimitris & Hoque, Hafiz, 2013. "The determinants of share repurchases in Europe," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 65-76.
    6. Hirtle, Beverly, 2014. "Bank holding company dividends and repurchases during the financial crisis," Staff Reports 666, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    7. Alzahrani, Mohammed & Lasfer, Meziane, 2012. "Investor protection, taxation, and dividends," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 745-762.
    8. Pryshchepa, Oksana & Aretz, Kevin & Banerjee, Shantanu, 2013. "Can investors restrict managerial behavior in distressed firms?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 222-239.

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