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Corporate Dividend Policies: Lessons from Private Firms

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  • Roni Michaely
  • Michael R. Roberts
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    Abstract

    We compare the dividend policies of publicly and privately held firms in order to help identify the forces shaping corporate dividends, and shed light on the behavior of privately held companies. We show that private firms smooth dividends significantly less than their public counterparts, suggesting that the scrutiny of public capital markets plays a central role in the propensity of firms to smooth dividends over time. Public firms pay relatively higher dividends that tend to be more sensitive to changes in investment opportunities than otherwise similar private firms. Ultimately, ownership structure and incentives play key roles in shaping dividend policies. The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com., Oxford University Press.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/rfs/hhr108
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal Review of Financial Studies.

    Volume (Year): 25 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 711-746

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:25:y:2012:i:3:p:711-746

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    Cited by:
    1. rondi, laura & cambini, carlo & bremberger, francisca & gugler, klaus, 2013. "Dividend Policy in Regulated Firms," MPRA Paper 48043, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Basil Al-Najjar & Yacine Belghitar, 2012. "The information content of cashflows in the context of dividend smoothing," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 17(2), pages 57-70, September.
    3. Viral V. Acharya & Zhaoxia Xu, 2013. "Financial Dependence and Innovation: The Case of Public versus Private Firms," NBER Working Papers 19708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Brandstetter, Laura & Jacob, Martin, 2013. "Do corporate tax cuts increase investments?," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 153, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    5. Alzahrani, Mohammed & Lasfer, Meziane, 2012. "Investor protection, taxation, and dividends," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 745-762.
    6. Jeong, Jinho, 2013. "Determinants of dividend smoothing in emerging market: The case of Korea," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 76-88.
    7. Gao, Huasheng & Harford, Jarrad & Li, Kai, 2013. "Determinants of corporate cash policy: Insights from private firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(3), pages 623-639.
    8. Jacob, Martin & Alstadsæter, Annette, 2013. "Payout policies of privately held firms: Flexibility and the role of income taxes," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 152, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    9. Behr, Patrick & Norden, Lars & Noth, Felix, 2013. "Financial constraints of private firms and bank lending behavior," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3472-3485.
    10. Kim Huynh & Teodora Paligorova & Robert Petrunia, 2013. "Public/Private Transitions and Firm Financing," Working Papers 13-36, Bank of Canada.
    11. Malcolm Baker & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2012. "Dividends as Reference Points: A Behavioral Signaling Approach," NBER Working Papers 18242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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