IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/joepsy/v29y2008i3p276-284.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Clustering in dividends: Do managers rely on cognitive reference points?

Author

Listed:
  • Aerts, Walter
  • Campenhout, Geert Van
  • Caneghem, Tom Van

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Aerts, Walter & Campenhout, Geert Van & Caneghem, Tom Van, 2008. "Clustering in dividends: Do managers rely on cognitive reference points?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 276-284, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:29:y:2008:i:3:p:276-284
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167-4870(07)00086-4
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Dong, Ming & Robinson, Chris & Veld, Chris, 2005. "Why individual investors want dividends," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 121-158, December.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Easterbrook, Frank H, 1984. "Two Agency-Cost Explanations of Dividends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 650-659, September.
    16. 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.
    17. Shiller, Robert J, 1990. "Market Volatility and Investor Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 58-62, May.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.
    20. 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.
    21. Ashworth, John & Heyndels, Bruno & Smolders, Carine, 2003. "Psychological taxing in Flemish municipalities," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 741-762, December.
    22. 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)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Malcolm Baker & Brock Mendel & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2016. "Dividends as Reference Points: A Behavioral Signaling Approach," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 29(3), pages 697-738.
    2. Shih-Wei Wu & Fengyi Lin & Wenchang Fang, 2012. "Earnings Management and Investor's Stock Return," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(S3), pages 129-140, September.
    3. Shih-Wei Wu & Fengyi Lin & Wenchang Fang, 2012. "Earnings Management and Investor's Stock Return," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(S3), pages 129-140, September.
    4. repec:eee:regeco:v:68:y:2018:i:c:p:172-190 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:29:y:2008:i:3:p:276-284. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.