Clustering in dividends: Do managers rely on cognitive reference points?
Prior studies (see e.g. [Rosch, E. (1975). Cognitive reference points. Cognitive Psychology, 7, 532-547]) indicate that multiples of ten serve as cognitive reference points with a view to perceiving and evaluating numbers. In order to explore whether managers set dividends per share (henceforth DPS) at or just above a cognitive reference point, we perform a digital analysis on US firms' DPS for the period 1995-2004. That is, based on the theory of cognitive reference points, DPS of $2.00 will be viewed as being abnormally larger than DPS of $1.99, whereas the actual difference only amounts to a marginal $0.01. Results presented in this paper indicate that managers fall back on cognitive reference points when they set DPS, which shows in significantly more (fewer) zeroes (large digits) in the second-from-the-left position of DPS than would normally be expected. Overall, results presented in this paper tally with prior findings on odd-ending prices and price clustering documented in related disciplines.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Charles Kahn & George Pennacchi & Ben Sopranzetti, 1999.
"Bank Deposit Rate Clustering: Theory and Empirical Evidence,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 54(6), pages 2185-2214, December.
- Charles M. Kahn & George Pennacchi & Ben Sopranzetti, 1996. "Bank deposit rate clustering: theory and empirical evidence," Working Paper 9604, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
- Schindler, Robert M. & Wiman, Alan R., 1989. "Effects of odd pricing on price recall," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 165-177, November.
- Aitken, Michael & Brown, Philip & Buckland, Christine & Izan, H. Y. & Walter, Terry, 1996. "Price clustering on the Australian Stock Exchange," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 4(2-3), pages 297-314, July.
- Oded Palmon & Barton A. Smith & Ben J. Sopranzetti, 2004. "Clustering in Real Estate Prices: Determinants and Consequences," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 26(2), pages 115-136.
- Ronald C. Lease, & Kose John, & Avner Kalay, & Uri Loewenstein, & Oded H. Sarig,, 1999. "Dividend Policy:: Its Impact on Firm Value," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780875844978.
- David Holland & Alan Ramsay, 2003. "Do Australian companies manage earnings to meet simple earnings benchmarks?," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 43(1), pages 41-62.
- Dong, Ming & Robinson, Chris & Veld, Chris, 2005. "Why individual investors want dividends," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 121-158, December.
- Dong, M. & Robinson, C. & Veld, C.H., 2003. "Why Individual Investors want Dividends," Discussion Paper 2003-28, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Ming Dong & Chris Robinson & Chris Veld, 2004. "Why Individual Investors Want Dividends," Finance 0412009, EconWPA.
- Baker, H. Kent & Powell, Gary E. & Veit, E. Theodore, 2002. "Revisiting the dividend puzzle: Do all of the pieces now fit?," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 241-261.
- Frankfurter, George M. & Wood, Bob Jr., 2002. "Dividend policy theories and their empirical tests," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 111-138.
- Sonnemans, Joep, 2006. "Price clustering and natural resistance points in the Dutch stock market: A natural experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 1937-1950, November.
- Joan Farre-Mensa & Roni Michaely & Martin Schmalz, 2014. "Payout Policy," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 75-134, December.
- 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.
- Franklin Allen & Roni Michaely, 2002. "Payout Policy," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 01-21, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
- Ashton, John K. & Hudson, Robert S., 2008. "Interest rate clustering in UK financial services markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1393-1403, July.
- John K. Ashton & Robert Hudson, 2006. "Interest Rate Clustering in UK Financial Services Markets," Working Papers 06-14, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia.
- Brav, Alon & Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R. & Michaely, Roni, 2005. "Payout policy in the 21st century," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 483-527, September.
- Alon Brav & John R. Graham & Campbell R. Harvey & Roni Michaely, 2003. "Payout Policy in the 21st Century," NBER Working Papers 9657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Baker, H. Kent & Smith, David M., 2006. "In search of a residual dividend policy," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-18.
- Easterbrook, Frank H, 1984. "Two Agency-Cost Explanations of Dividends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 650-659, September.
- Clark-Murphy, Marilyn & Soutar, Geoffrey N., 2004. "What individual investors value: Some Australian evidence," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 539-555, August.
- Shiller, Robert J, 1990. "Market Volatility and Investor Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 58-62, May.
- Brenner, Gabrielle A & Brenner, Reuven, 1982. "Memory and Markets, or Why Are You Paying $2.99 for a Widget?," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(1), pages 147-158, January.
- Healy, Paul M., 1985. "The effect of bonus schemes on accounting decisions," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1-3), pages 85-107, April.
- Das, Somnath & Zhang, Huai, 2003. "Rounding-up in reported EPS, behavioral thresholds, and earnings management," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 31-50, April.
- Ashworth, John & Heyndels, Bruno & Smolders, Carine, 2003. "Psychological taxing in Flemish municipalities," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 741-762, December.
- Shefrin, Hersh M. & Statman, Meir, 1984. "Explaining investor preference for cash dividends," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 253-282, June. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)