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Investor protection, taxation, and dividends

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  • Alzahrani, Mohammed
  • Lasfer, Meziane

Abstract

We test the impact of taxes and governance systems on dividend payouts across countries. We show that, unlike previous studies, firms in strong investor protection countries pay lower cash dividends than in weak protection countries when the classical tax system is implemented, but they repurchase more shares to maximise their shareholders' after-tax returns. In weak protection countries, cash dividends and repurchases are low and less responsive to taxes. Our results suggest that when investors are protected, they weigh the tax cost of dividends against the benefit of mitigating the agency cost, but, when they are not, they accept whatever dividends they can extract, even when this entails high tax costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Alzahrani, Mohammed & Lasfer, Meziane, 2012. "Investor protection, taxation, and dividends," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 745-762.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:18:y:2012:i:4:p:745-762
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2012.06.003
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    1. repec:eee:jbfina:v:85:y:2017:i:c:p:113-131 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Hamdi Ben-Nasr, 2015. "Government Ownership and Dividend Policy: Evidence from Newly Privatised Firms," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(5-6), pages 665-704, June.
    3. Breuer, Wolfgang & Rieger, M. Oliver & Soypak, K. Can, 2014. "The behavioral foundations of corporate dividend policy a cross-country analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 247-265.
    4. 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.
    5. Mathur, Ike & Singh, Manohar & Nejadmalayeri, Ali & Jiraporn, Pornsit, 2013. "How do bond investors perceive dividend payouts?," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 92-105.
    6. Ji, Philip Inyeob, 2016. "Is corporate payout taxation a long run phenomenon? Evidence from international data," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 84-100.
    7. Xiao, Gang, 2013. "Legal shareholder protection and corporate R&D investment," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 240-266.
    8. John, Kose & Knyazeva, Anzhela & Knyazeva, Diana, 2015. "Governance and Payout Precommitment," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 101-117.
    9. Burns, Natasha & McTier, Brian C. & Minnick, Kristina, 2015. "Equity-incentive compensation and payout policy in Europe," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 85-97.
    10. Firth, Michael & Gong, Stephen X. & Shan, Liwei, 2013. "Cost of government and firm value," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 136-152.
    11. Onali, Enrico & Galiakhmetova, Ramilya & Molyneux, Philip & Torluccio, Giuseppe, 2016. "CEO power, government monitoring, and bank dividends," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 89-117.
    12. Javakhadze, David & Ferris, Stephen P. & Sen, Nilanjan, 2014. "An international analysis of dividend smoothing," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 200-220.
    13. Gotti, Giorgio & Mastrolia, Stacy, 2014. "Cost of Capital for Exempt Foreign Private Issuers: Information Risk Effect or Earnings Quality Effect? It Depends," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 190-220.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Shareholder rights; Dividend policy; Dividend taxation; Agency costs;

    JEL classification:

    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G35 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Payout Policy
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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