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Dividend Policies in an Unregulated Market: The London Stock Exchange 1895-1905

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  • Braggion, F.
  • Moore, L.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

We examine the e¤ects of dividend policies on 469 British firms between 1895 and 1905. These firms operated in an environment of very low taxation and an absence of institutional constraints. We find strong support for asymmetric information/signaling theories of dividend policy, and little support for agency models. Our results suggest that dividends can signal information from managers to shareholders, even if dividend payments incur only very low taxes. However, taxes appear to be necessary to allow dividend policies to resolve agency problems between managers and investors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2008-83.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:200883

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

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Keywords: Dividend Policy; London Stock Exchange;

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  1. Franklin Allen & Antonio E. Bernardo & Ivo Welch, 2000. "A Theory of Dividends Based on Tax Clienteles," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(6), pages 2499-2536, December.
  2. Doron Nissim, 2001. "Dividend Changes and Future Profitability," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2111-2133, December.
  3. Mitchell A. Petersen, 2005. "Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches," NBER Working Papers 11280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Shlomo Benartzi & Roni Michaely & Richard Thaler, 1997. "Do Changes in Dividends Signal the Future or the Past?," CRSP working papers 455, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  5. Miller, Merton H & Rock, Kevin, 1985. " Dividend Policy under Asymmetric Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1031-51, September.
  6. Raj Chetty & Emmanuel Saez, 2005. "Dividend Taxes and Corporate Behavior: Evidence from the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 791-833, August.
  7. Gustavo Grullon & Roni Michaely & Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 2005. "Dividend Changes Do Not Signal Changes in Future Profitability," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(5), pages 1659-1682, September.
  8. Merton H. Miller & Franco Modigliani, 1961. "Dividend Policy, Growth, and the Valuation of Shares," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34, pages 411.
  9. Franklin Allen & Roni Michaely, 2002. "Payout Policy," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 01-21, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    • Allen, Franklin & Michaely, Roni, 2003. "Payout policy," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 337-429 Elsevier.
  10. Amihud, Yakov & Murgia, Maurizio, 1997. " Dividends, Taxes, and Signaling: Evidence from Germany," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 397-408, March.
  11. Del Guercio, Diane, 1996. "The distorting effect of the prudent-man laws on institutional equity investments," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 31-62, January.
  12. Eugene F. Fama & Kenneth R. French, . "Forecasting Profitability and Earnings," CRSP working papers 456, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  13. Hutson, Elaine, 2005. "The early managed fund industry: Investment trusts in 19th century Britain," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 439-454.
  14. Steven A. Sharpe, 1989. "Asymmetric information, bank lending, and implicit contracts: a stylized model of customer relationships," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 70, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Sudipto Bhattacharya, 1979. "Imperfect Information, Dividend Policy, and "The Bird in the Hand" Fallacy," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 259-270, Spring.
  16. Denis, David J. & Osobov, Igor, 2008. "Why do firms pay dividends? International evidence on the determinants of dividend policy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 62-82, July.
  17. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1990. "Tax Policy and the Dividend Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 3434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Burhop, Carsten & Chambers, David & Cheffins, Brian, 2014. "Regulating IPOs: Evidence from going public in London, 1900–1913," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 60-76.
  2. Acheson, Graeme G. & Campbell, Gareth & Turner, John D. & Vanteeva, Nadia, 2014. "Corporate ownership and control in Victorian Britain," eabh Papers 14-02, The European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH).
  3. Braggion, Fabio & Moore, Lyndon, 2013. "The Economic Benefits of Political Connections in Late Victorian Britain," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 73(01), pages 142-176, March.
  4. Matthias Nnadi & Nyema Wogboroma & Bariyima Kabel, 2013. "Determinants of Dividend Policy: Evidence from Listed Firms in the African Stock Exchanges," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 60(6), pages 725-741, December.

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