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How Did the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut Affect Stock Prices?


  • Gene Amromin
  • Paul Harrison
  • Steven Sharpe


"We test the hypothesis that the 2003 dividend tax cut boosted US stock prices and thereby lowered the cost of equity capital. Using an event-study methodology, we attempt to identify an aggregate stock market effect by comparing the behavior of US common stock prices with that of foreign equities and the equities of real estate investment trusts (REITs). We also examine the relative cross-sectional response of prices of high- and low-dividend-paying stocks. We do not find any imprint of the dividend tax cut news on the value of the aggregate US stock market. On the other hand, high-dividend stocks outperformed low-dividend stocks by a few percentage points over the event windows, suggesting that the tax cut may have induced asset reallocation within equity portfolios. Finally, the positive abnormal return on nondividend paying US stocks in 2003 does not appear to be tied to tax cut news." Copyright (c) 2008 Financial Management Association International..

Suggested Citation

  • Gene Amromin & Paul Harrison & Steven Sharpe, 2008. "How Did the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut Affect Stock Prices?," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 37(4), pages 625-646, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:finmgt:v:37:y:2008:i:4:p:625-646

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James Poterba, 2004. "Taxation and Corporate Payout Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 171-175, May.
    2. John R. Graham & Roni Michaely & Michael R. Roberts, 2003. "Do Price Discreteness and Transactions Costs Affect Stock Returns? Comparing Ex-Dividend Pricing before and after Decimalization," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(6), pages 2611-2636, December.
    3. Clemens Sialm, 2005. "Tax Changes and Asset Pricing: Time-Series Evidence," NBER Working Papers 11756, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Auerbach, Alan J. & Hassett, Kevin A., 2003. "On the marginal source of investment funds," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 205-232, January.
    5. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin A. Hassett, 2006. "Dividend Taxes and Firm Valuation: New Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 119-123, May.
    6. Auerbach, Alan J., 2002. "Taxation and corporate financial policy," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 19, pages 1251-1292 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maul, D. & Schiereck, D., 2016. "The bond event study methodology since 1974," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 80723, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
    2. Borgonovo, E. & Gatti, S. & Peccati, L., 2010. "What drives value creation in investment projects? An application of sensitivity analysis to project finance transactions," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 205(1), pages 227-236, August.
    3. Winter, Christoph & Kraus, Beatrice, 2016. "Do Tax Changes Affect Credit Markets and Financial Frictions? Evidence from Credit Spreads," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145636, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Jesse Edgerton, 2010. "Effects of the 2003 dividend tax cut: evidence from real estate investment trusts," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-34, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Lin, Leming & Flannery, Mark J., 2013. "Do personal taxes affect capital structure? Evidence from the 2003 tax cut," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 549-565.
    6. Jeffrey R. Brown & Nellie Liang & Scott Weisbenner, 2007. "Executive Financial Incentives and Payout Policy: Firm Responses to the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(4), pages 1935-1965, August.
    7. Clemens Sialm, 2006. "Investment Taxes and Equity Returns," NBER Working Papers 12146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin A. Hassett, 2006. "Dividend Taxes and Firm Valuation: New Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 119-123, May.
    9. Ferris, Erin E. Syron, 2015. "Dividend Taxes and Stock Volatility," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-36, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Jesse Edgerton, 2013. "Four facts about dividend payouts and the 2003 tax cut," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(5), pages 769-784, October.
    11. Jolana Stejskalova, 2016. "Impact of the information on tax burden on the stock market," MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics 2016-62, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    12. Barclay, Michael J. & Heitzman, Shane M. & Smith, Clifford W., 2013. "Debt and taxes: Evidence from the real estate industry," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 74-93.
    13. Josef García Blandón & M?nica Martínez Blasco & Josef Argiles Bosch, 2011. "Ex-Dividend Day Returns when Dividend and Capital Gains are Taxed at the Same Rate," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 61(2), pages 140-152, June.
    14. Yishuang Xu & Chung Yim Yiu, 2017. "The Impacts of Tax Reforms on REITs. An International Empirical Study," Academic Journal of Economic Studies, Faculty of Finance, Banking and Accountancy Bucharest,"Dimitrie Cantemir" Christian University Bucharest, vol. 3(1), pages 11-22, March.

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