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Independent directors and the propensity to pay dividends

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  • Sharma, Vineeta

Abstract

Using data from 944 public companies in 2006, I examine how a firm's propensity to pay dividends is related to (i) board independence and (ii) independent directors' tenure, number of board seats (busy) and equity incentive compensation. After controlling for the effects of traditional economic, CEO entrenchment and ownership determinants of the propensity to pay dividends, I find evidence of a positive association between the propensity to pay and (i) board independence and (ii) director tenure, and a negative association between the propensity to pay and (i) busy directors and (ii) greater equity incentive compensation in the director pay structure. I find consistent results when the decision is to pay cash dividends or repurchase shares. In further tests, I find that equity incentive compensation in the independent director pay structure is the most pervasive determinant across other dividend measures such as dividend payout, total payout and repurchases. Overall, the findings suggest that the characteristics of independent directors are important determinants of the payout policy. The results also suggest that future corporate governance research could benefit from incorporating characteristics of independent directors rather than limiting governance measures to board independence especially when recent empirical evidence (Linck et al., 2008, 2009) shows convergence, and therefore, narrowing variation in the proportion of outsiders and insiders on a board.

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  • Sharma, Vineeta, 2011. "Independent directors and the propensity to pay dividends," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 1001-1015, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:4:p:1001-1015
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul McGuinness & Kevin Lam & João Vieito, 2015. "Gender and other major board characteristics in China: Explaining corporate dividend policy and governance," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 989-1038, December.
    2. Thomas Hemmelgarn & Daniel Teichmann, 2014. "Tax reforms and the capital structure of banks," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(4), pages 645-693, August.
    3. repec:eee:finana:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Anwar Boumosleh & Brandon Cline, 2015. "Outside Director Stock Options and Dividend Policy," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 47(3), pages 381-410, June.
    5. Anneleen Michiels & Wim Voordeckers & Nadine Lybaert & Tensie Steijvers, 2015. "Dividends and family governance practices in private family firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 299-314, February.
    6. Michael Bradley & Dong Chen, 2015. "Does Board Independence Reduce the Cost of Debt?," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 15-47, March.
    7. Eric Haye, 2015. "Hedge Fund Ownership, Board Composition and Dividend Policy in the Telecommunications Industry," International Journal of Financial Research, International Journal of Financial Research, Sciedu Press, vol. 6(1), pages 111-118, January.
    8. De Cesari, Amedeo & Ozkan, Neslihan, 2015. "Executive incentives and payout policy: Empirical evidence from Europe," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 70-91.
    9. Borokhovich, Kenneth A. & Boulton, Thomas J. & Brunarski, Kelly R. & Harman, Yvette S., 2014. "The incentives of grey directors: Evidence from unexpected executive and board chair turnover," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 102-115.
    10. Geiler, P.H.M. & Renneboog, L.D.R., 2014. "Executive Remuneration and the Payout Decision," Discussion Paper 2014-032, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    11. Wang, Li-Hsun & Lin, Chu-Hsiung & Fung, Hung-Gay & Chen, Hsien-Ming, 2015. "Governance mechanisms and downside risk," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 35(PB), pages 485-498.
    12. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-16-00532 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Wang, Jin-Ying, 2014. "Controlling shareholder entrenchment: Bonuses versus dividends," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 143-158.

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