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Yes, dividends are disappearing: Worldwide evidence

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  • Fatemi, Ali
  • Bildik, Recep

Abstract

This study examines the patterns in payout policies worldwide. Utilizing data from a sample of more than 17,000 companies from 33 different countries, we find evidence in support of a significant worldwide decline in the propensity to pay dividends. Most of the decline is due to the payout policies of smaller and less profitable firms with comparatively more investment opportunities. We find that larger firms, those with higher profitability, and firms with low growth opportunities have a greater propensity to pay dividends. The proportion of dividend payers varies substantially across industries as well. However, the proportion of firms paying dividends has declined over time, even after firms’ characteristics have been controlled for. Moreover, aggregate dividends are highly concentrated in that they are paid only by a small group of firms. Our findings indicate that there has been a significant decline in the average dividend payout ratios over the years. The decline in the mean dividend payout ratios as well as the proportion of payers is much more pronounced in civil law countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Fatemi, Ali & Bildik, Recep, 2012. "Yes, dividends are disappearing: Worldwide evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 662-677.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:36:y:2012:i:3:p:662-677
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbankfin.2011.10.008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eugene F. Fama & Kenneth R. French, 2001. "Disappearing Dividends: Changing Firm Characteristics Or Lower Propensity To Pay?," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 14(1), pages 67-79.
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    9. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 2000. "Agency Problems and Dividend Policies around the World," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 1-33, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. He, Wen & Ng, Lilian & Zaiats, Nataliya & Zhang, Bohui, 2017. "Dividend policy and earnings management across countries," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 267-286.
    2. Bildik, Recep & Fatemi, Ali & Fooladi, Iraj, 2015. "Global dividend payout patterns: The US and the rest of the world and the effect of financial crisis," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 38-67.
    3. Michael A. Goldstein & Abhinav Goyal & Brian M. Lucey & Cal B. Muckley, 2015. "The Global Preference for Dividends in Declining Markets," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 50(4), pages 575-609, November.
    4. Erkan, Asligul & Fainshmidt, Stav & Judge, William Q., 2016. "Variance decomposition of the country, industry, firm, and firm-year effects on dividend policy," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1309-1320.
    5. Forti, Cristiano & Schiozer, Rafael F., 2015. "Bank dividends and signaling to information-sensitive depositors," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 1-11.
    6. repec:eee:quaeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:152-161 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:eee:finana:v:58:y:2018:i:c:p:132-152 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:spr:rvmgts:v:11:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11846-016-0197-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:glofin:v:34:y:2017:i:c:p:1-15 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dividends; Dividend payout policy; International dividend policy;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G35 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Payout Policy

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