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Dividends: Relevance, rigidity, and signaling

  • Karpavičius, Sigitas
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    This paper uses a dynamic partial equilibrium model to explain a puzzle of dividend smoothing. In contrast to the Modigliani–Miller theory, I show that firm value depends on payout policy. The analysis implies that firms with more stable dividend stream are more valuable. This explains why dividends are rigid over time. A volatile component of dividends is introduced to reduce the likelihood of dividend omission in bad times while keeping the same historical average dividends. I show that the empirically observed positive relation between dividends and future firm performance is a statistical artifact driven by dividend smoothing. Thus, the empirical tests of dividend signaling theory might be misspecified.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0929119914000029
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Corporate Finance.

    Volume (Year): 25 (2014)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 289-312

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:25:y:2014:i:c:p:289-312
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcorpfin

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    1. Praveen Kumar, 1988. "Shareholder-Manager Conflict and the Information Content of Dividends," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(2), pages 111-136.
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    7. Mark T. Leary & Roni Michaely, 2011. "Determinants of Dividend Smoothing: Empirical Evidence," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(10), pages 3197-3249.
    8. Michaely, Roni & Thaler, Richard H & Womack, Kent L, 1995. " Price Reactions to Dividend Initiations and Omissions: Overreaction or Drift?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(2), pages 573-608, June.
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    12. Sudipto Bhattacharya, 1979. "Imperfect Information, Dividend Policy, and "The Bird in the Hand" Fallacy," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 259-270, Spring.
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    17. Franklin Allen & Antonio Bernardo & Ivo Welch, . "A Theory of Dividends Based on Tax Clienteles," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-98, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    18. Yi Liu & Samuel H. Szewczyk & Zaher Zantout, 2008. "Underreaction to Dividend Reductions and Omissions?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(2), pages 987-1020, 04.
    19. Bart M. Lambrecht & Stewart C. Myers, 2012. "A Lintner Model of Payout and Managerial Rents," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(5), pages 1761-1810, October.
    20. Doron Nissim, 2001. "Dividend Changes and Future Profitability," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2111-2133, December.
    21. John R. Graham & Lillian F. Mills, 2007. "Using Tax Return Data to Simulate Corporate Marginal Tax Rates," NBER Working Papers 13709, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Garrett, Ian & Priestley, Richard, 2000. "Dividend Behaviour and Dividend Signaling," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(02), pages 173-189, June.
    23. Franklin Allen & Roni Michaely, 2002. "Payout Policy," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 01-21, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
      • Allen, Franklin & Michaely, Roni, 2003. "Payout policy," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 337-429 Elsevier.
    24. Gustavo Grullon & Roni Michaely, 2002. "Dividends, Share Repurchases, and the Substitution Hypothesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(4), pages 1649-1684, 08.
    25. DeAngelo, Harry & DeAngelo, Linda, 2006. "The irrelevance of the MM dividend irrelevance theorem," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 293-315, February.
    26. Gustavo Grullon & Roni Michaely & Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 2005. "Dividend Changes Do Not Signal Changes in Future Profitability," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(5), pages 1659-1682, September.
    27. Merton H. Miller & Franco Modigliani, 1961. "Dividend Policy, Growth, and the Valuation of Shares," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34, pages 411.
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