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Dividend Policy In Regulated Network Industries: Evidence From The Eu


  • Francisca Bremberger
  • Carlo Cambini
  • Klaus Gugler
  • Laura Rondi


type="main" xml:id="ecin12238-abs-0001"> We study the dividend policy of firms in regulated network industries, focusing on the impact of different regulatory regimes and government control. We link payout and smoothing decisions to different regulatory mechanisms (cost-based vs. incentive regulation) and state versus private ownership. We test our predictions on a panel of listed European electric utilities, accounting for potential endogeneity of the choice of regulatory and ownership patterns. We find that incentive-regulated firms smooth their dividends less than cost-based regulated firms and that they report higher target payout ratios. Consistent with the interest group theory of regulation, we find that incentive regulation schemes are less likely when the state is still an important shareholder in the sector. Additionally, our results show that government control undermines the efficiency-enhancing effects of incentive regulation on dividend policy, for example, lower smoothing is only due to private firms. (JEL G35, L51, L32, L9)

Suggested Citation

  • Francisca Bremberger & Carlo Cambini & Klaus Gugler & Laura Rondi, 2016. "Dividend Policy In Regulated Network Industries: Evidence From The Eu," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(1), pages 408-432, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:54:y:2016:i:1:p:408-432

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    Cited by:

    1. Salvador Bertomeu & Antonio Estache, 2019. "Should Infrastructure Regulators regulate Dividends? Hints from a Literature Survey," Working Papers ECARES 2019-18, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Anna Matas & Ginés de Rus & Stef Proost & Salvador Bertoméu-Sánchez & Antonio Estache, 2018. "The Financing of Infrastructure / La financiación de las infraestructuras / El finançament de les infraestructures," IEB Reports ieb_report_1_2018, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    3. repec:eee:finana:v:61:y:2019:i:c:p:255-273 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G35 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Payout Policy
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L32 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Enterprises; Public-Private Enterprises
    • L9 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities


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