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A Tax-Based Test of the Dividend Signaling Hypothesis

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  • Bernheim, B Douglas
  • Wantz, Adam

Abstract

The authors propose and implement a new test of the dividend signaling hypothesis. Dividend signaling models generally imply that an increase in dividend taxation should increase the share price response per dollar of dividends (or 'bang-for-the-buck'). Many other dividend-preference theories have the opposite implication. An analysis of recent variations in tax policy reveals a strong positive relation between dividend tax rates and the bang-for-the-buck. Additional evidence on the relation between the bang-for-the-buck and other variables that are related to the marginal cost of paying dividends provides further support for dividend signaling. Copyright 1995 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernheim, B Douglas & Wantz, Adam, 1995. "A Tax-Based Test of the Dividend Signaling Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 532-551, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:85:y:1995:i:3:p:532-51
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