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The payout policy of politically connected firms: Tunnelling or reputation?

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  • López-Iturriaga, Félix J.
  • Santana Martín, Domingo Javier

Abstract

Using company directors who have a background in politics as a measure of political connections, we analyze the relationship between political ties and dividend policy in a sample of listed Spanish firms. We find political connections to be positively related with cash dividends. This result is consistent with concern regarding the interests of minority shareholders in politically connected firms or with the lower number of financial constraints in these firms. We also find a positive relationship between political connections and share repurchases, a means of shareholder compensation that is gaining popularity, a result that might be related to the valuation of politically connected firms. Our results are robust to alternative empirical specifications such as the propensity score matching procedure, different metrics of payout policy, and different measures of political connections. Interestingly, the recent financial crisis has not changed connected firms’ preference for shareholder compensation with dividends and share repurchases.

Suggested Citation

  • López-Iturriaga, Félix J. & Santana Martín, Domingo Javier, 2019. "The payout policy of politically connected firms: Tunnelling or reputation?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecofin:v:50:y:2019:i:c:s1062940819301123
    DOI: 10.1016/j.najef.2019.101025
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political connections; Dividends; Dominant owners; Share repurchases; Board of directors;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance

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