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Earnings quality and corporate payout policy linkages: An Indian context


  • Pathak, Rajesh
  • Ranajee,


We investigate the role of accounting quality as an antecedent of dividend payout decision of firms, for both dividend levels and dividend event, in an emerging market context. Using the data for Indian firms through the years 2006–2016, we evaluate the impact of discretionary accruals on payout decision employing Tobit and Logit regression models amid set of idiosyncratic controls. We report that better earnings quality, on average, is associated with large dividend payments for Indian firms. Moreover, the likelihood of dividend payment reduces with poor earnings quality and more so when earnings manipulation is done to increase earnings. Nonetheless, we show that higher earnings quality reduces dividends during the crisis period and also for group-affiliated firms. However, the same doesn’t hold true for dividend likelihood. The relationship is robust to the idiosyncratic controls and the causality test confirms that results are not susceptible to endogeneity issue. Overall, we conclude that better earnings quality takes care of free cash flow problems and alleviates the agency and information asymmetry related costs, thereby stimulating payout policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Pathak, Rajesh & Ranajee,, 2020. "Earnings quality and corporate payout policy linkages: An Indian context," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecofin:v:51:y:2020:i:c:s1062940818303462
    DOI: 10.1016/j.najef.2018.10.003

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