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The Dividend Clientele Hypothesis: Evidence from the 2003 Tax Act

  • Laura Kawano

This paper provides evidence that dividend and capital gains tax rates importantly influence household portfolio choices. Using data from the Surveys of Consumer Finances around the 2003 dividend tax reductions, I estimate the relationship between taxes and household portfolio dividend yields. I find that a one percentage point decrease in the dividend tax rate relative to the long-term capital gains tax rate causes household portfolio dividend yields to increase by 0.04 percentage points. The results suggest that high income households significantly increased their portfolio dividend yields in response to the 2003 dividend tax rate reductions.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 6 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 114-36

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:6:y:2014:i:1:p:114-36
Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.6.1.114
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  1. Anton Korinek & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2008. "Dividend Taxation and Intertemporal Tax Arbitrage," NBER Working Papers 13858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. John R. Graham & Alok Kumar, 2006. "Do Dividend Clienteles Exist? Evidence on Dividend Preferences of Retail Investors," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(3), pages 1305-1336, 06.
  5. Jennifer Blouin & Jana Raedy & Douglas Shackelford, 2010. "Dividends, Share Repurchases, and Tax Clienteles: Evidence from the 2003 Reductions in Shareholder Taxes," NBER Working Papers 16129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Franklin Allen & Antonio Bernardo & Ivo Welch, 1998. "A Theory of Dividends Based on Tax Clienteles," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm92, Yale School of Management.
  7. Pettit, R. Richardson, 1977. "Taxes, transactions costs and the clientele effect of dividends," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 419-436, December.
  8. Gábor Kézdi & Robert J. Willis, 2003. "Who Becomes a Stockholder? Expectations, SUbjective Uncertainty, and Asset Allocation," Working Papers wp039, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  9. Smith, Richard J & Blundell, Richard W, 1986. "An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 679-85, May.
  10. Zoran Ivkovich & James Poterba & Scott Weisbenner, 2004. "Tax-Motivated Trading by Individual Investors," NBER Working Papers 10275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1978. "The Estimation of a Simultaneous Equation Generalized Probit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1193-1205, September.
  12. Miller, Merton H, 1977. "Debt and Taxes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 261-75, May.
  13. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1979. "The Estimation of a Simultaneous-Equation Tobit Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(1), pages 169-81, February.
  14. 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.
  15. Long, John B., 1977. "Efficient portfolio choice with differential taxation of dividends and capital gains," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 25-53, August.
  16. King, Mervyn A. & Leape, Jonathan I., 1998. "Wealth and portfolio composition: Theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 155-193, June.
  17. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1990. "Tax Policy and the Dividend Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 3434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Clemens Sialm & Laura Starks, 2009. "Mutual Fund Tax Clienteles," NBER Working Papers 15327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Shoven, John B. & Sialm, Clemens, 2004. "Asset location in tax-deferred and conventional savings accounts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 23-38, January.
  20. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
  21. Bo Becker & Zoran Ivković & Scott Weisbenner, 2011. "Local Dividend Clienteles," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(2), pages 655-683, 04.
  22. Leape, Jonathan I., 1987. "Taxes and transaction costs in asset market equilibrium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-20, June.
  23. James M. Poterba & Andrew Samwick, 1999. "Taxation and Household Portfolio Composition: U.S. Evidence from the 1980s and 1990s," NBER Working Papers 7392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Laura Kawano, 2014. "The Dividend Clientele Hypothesis: Evidence from the 2003 Tax Act," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 114-36, February.
  25. Shefrin, Hersh M. & Statman, Meir, 1984. "Explaining investor preference for cash dividends," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 253-282, June.
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  27. Elton, Edwin J & Gruber, Martin J, 1970. "Marginal Stockholder Tax Rates and the Clientele Effect," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 52(1), pages 68-74, February.
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