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Shareholder Heterogeneity, Adverse Selection, and Payout Policy


  • Lucas, Deborah J.
  • McDonald, Robert L.


When shareholders have different plans to sell their shares, they will, in general, have different preferences concerning the firm's decision to pay out cash using dividends or share repurchase. We illustrate these different preferences and explore a model of payout policy that highlights the adverse selection costs of repurchases when managers have superior information about the value of the firm. We show that, in the absence of fixed costs to repurchasing shares, there is a separating equilibrium in which managers use taxable dividends to signal the quality of the firm, with better firms paying lower dividends, using repurchases for the remainder of the payout. With fixed costs to repurchasing, small payouts are made via dividend and large payouts are divided between repurchases and dividends, as in the no-fixed cost case. In both cases, the percentage of shares repurchased increases with the size of the payout and larger repurchases are better news.

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  • Lucas, Deborah J. & McDonald, Robert L., 1998. "Shareholder Heterogeneity, Adverse Selection, and Payout Policy," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(02), pages 233-253, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:33:y:1998:i:02:p:233-253_00

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Renneboog, L.D.R. & Trojanowski, G., 2005. "Patterns in Payout Policy and Payout Channel Choice of UK Firms in the 1990s," Discussion Paper 2005-22, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    2. Brav, Alon & Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R. & Michaely, Roni, 2005. "Payout policy in the 21st century," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 483-527, September.
    3. Margaret Lamb & Andrew Lymer, 1999. "Taxation research in an accounting context: future prospects and interdisciplinary perspectives," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(4), pages 749-776.
    4. Trojanowski, G., 2004. "Ownership structure as a mechanism of corporate governance," Other publications TiSEM 5dbc874d-d1d0-44a5-9717-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. repec:eee:jaecon:v:63:y:2017:i:2:p:207-230 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Luc Renneboog & Grzegorz Trojanowski, 2007. "Control structures and payout policy," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 33(1), pages 43-64, January.
    7. Franklin Allen & Antonio E. Bernardo & Ivo Welch, 2000. "A Theory of Dividends Based on Tax Clienteles," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(6), pages 2499-2536, December.
    8. Hyo Kim & Hoje Jo & Soon Yoon, 2013. "Controlling shareholders’ opportunistic use of share repurchases," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 203-224, August.
    9. Nekat, Kai & Nippel, Peter, 2007. "The impact of a firm's payout policy on stock prices and shareholders' wealth in an inefficient market," Manuskripte aus den Instituten für Betriebswirtschaftslehre der Universität Kiel 619, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Institut für Betriebswirtschaftslehre.
    10. Baker, H. Kent & Powell, Gary E. & Veit, E. Theodore, 2002. "Revisiting the dividend puzzle: Do all of the pieces now fit?," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 241-261.
    11. Szomko Natalia, 2015. "Investor Reaction to Information on Final Dividend Payouts on the Warsaw Stock Exchange – an Event Study Analysis," International Journal of Management and Economics, De Gruyter Open, vol. 45(1), pages 127-146, March.
    12. Oded, Jacob, 2009. "Optimal execution of open-market stock repurchase programs," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 832-869, November.
    13. Oded, Jacob, 2011. "Stock repurchases: How firms choose between a self tender offer and an open-market program," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 3174-3187.

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