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The relationship between information asymmetry and dividend policy

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  • Cindy M. Vojtech
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    Abstract

    This paper examines how the quality of firm information disclosure affects shareholders' use of dividends to mitigate agency problems. Managerial compensation is linked to firm value. However, because the manager and shareholders are asymmetrically informed, the manager can manipulate the firm's accounting information to increase perceived firm value. Dividends can limit such practices by adding to the cost faced by a manager manipulating earnings. Empirical tests match model predictions. Dividend-paying firms show less evidence of earnings management. Furthermore, nondividend payers changed earnings announcement behavior more than dividend payers following the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a law that increased financial disclosures.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2012-13.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2012-13

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    1. Teoh, Siew Hong & Welch, Ivo & Wong, T. J., 1998. "Earnings management and the underperformance of seasoned equity offerings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 63-99, October.
    2. Kothari, S.P. & Leone, Andrew J. & Wasley, Charles E., 2005. "Performance matched discretionary accrual measures," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 163-197, February.
    3. Chetty, Raj & Saez, Emmanuel, 2004. "Dividend Taxes and Corporate Behaviour: Evidence from the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut," CEPR Discussion Papers 4722, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Lucas, Deborah J & McDonald, Robert L, 1990. " Equity Issues and Stock Price Dynamics," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1019-43, September.
    5. 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.
    6. Brown, Stephen & Lo, Kin & Lys, Thomas, 1999. "Use of R2 in accounting research: measuring changes in value relevance over the last four decades," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 83-115, December.
    7. Cho, In-Koo & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221, May.
    8. Auerbach, Alan J, 1979. "Wealth Maximization and the Cost of Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 433-46, August.
    9. Healy, Paul M. & Palepu, Krishna G., 2001. "Information asymmetry, corporate disclosure, and the capital markets: A review of the empirical disclosure literature," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-3), pages 405-440, September.
    10. Bettis, J. C. & Coles, J. L. & Lemmon, M. L., 2000. "Corporate policies restricting trading by insiders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 191-220, August.
    11. Miller, Merton H & Rock, Kevin, 1985. " Dividend Policy under Asymmetric Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1031-51, September.
    12. 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.
    13. Roger Gordon & Martin Dietz, 2006. "Dividends and Taxes," NBER Working Papers 12292, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Aboody, David & Kasznik, Ron, 2000. "CEO stock option awards and the timing of corporate voluntary disclosures," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 73-100, February.
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