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Appearing and disappearing dividends: The link to catering incentives

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  • Baker, Malcolm
  • Wurgler, Jeffrey

Abstract

We document a close link between fluctuations in the propensity to pay dividends and catering incentives. First, we use the methodology of Fama and French (2001) to identify a total of four distinct trends in the propensity to pay dividends between 1963 and 2000. Second, we show that each of these trends lines up with a corresponding fluctuation in catering incentives: The propensity to pay increases when a proxy for the stock market dividend premium is positive and decreases when it is negative. The lone disconnect is attributable to Nixon-era controls.
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Suggested Citation

  • Baker, Malcolm & Wurgler, Jeffrey, 2004. "Appearing and disappearing dividends: The link to catering incentives," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 271-288, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:73:y:2004:i:2:p:271-288
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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, March.
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    3. Gustavo Grullon & Roni Michaely, 2002. "Dividends, Share Repurchases, and the Substitution Hypothesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(4), pages 1649-1684, August.
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    5. Malcolm Baker & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2004. "A Catering Theory of Dividends," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(3), pages 1125-1165, June.
    6. 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 411-411.
    7. Fenn, George W. & Liang, Nellie, 2001. "Corporate payout policy and managerial stock incentives," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 45-72, April.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G35 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Payout Policy

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