Determinants of Cyclical Aggregate Dividend Behavior
The purpose of this paper is to find the determinants of cyclical real aggregate dividends. In the literature, dividends are hypothesized to be proportional to real permanent earnings, with a smoothing factor that is between zero and +1. An additional postulate is that dividends adjust to a target dividend payout ratio. Managers will only change dividends if they can be sure that permanent earnings have increased. This allows for the payout ratio to be persistent and avoids reversing the payout decision if temporary earnings fall. The contribution of this paper is six-fold. The first is to generate cyclical changes of the variables by an appropriate filtering rule, a rule that is a common usage in macroeconomics. The second is to consider two proxies for real permanent earnings: real stock market prices, keeping real interest rates constant, and long term real interest rates, keeping market prices constant. The third is to adjust the estimation procedure for conditional heteroscedasticity. The fourth is to test whether transitory real earnings have an impact on dividends. The fifth is to find out if there are symmetrical effects of positive and negative earnings shocks. The last is to carry out stability tests over different time periods. One of the major findings is that, the three independent variables--stock market prices, interest rates, and transitory earnings, all have a significant effect on dividends, and that the smoothing factor is surprisingly the same for all three independent variables.
Volume (Year): 2 (2012)
Issue (Month): (August)
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References listed on IDEAS
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