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Inflation and the dividend policy of US firms

Author

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  • Tobias Basse
  • Sebastian Reddemann

Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to analyse the dividend policy of firms from a macroeconomic perspective. In order to do so inflation and real growth are also considered. Design/methodology/approach - The paper examines the relationship between dividends, corporate earnings, real growth and inflation in the USA by applying cointegration techniques. In this framework, impulse response analysis is used to test the two most popular theories of dividend determination. Findings - The data indicate three cointegration relations among the four-time series. Impulse response analysis then shows some interesting dynamics. Dividend smoothing seems to be a relevant phenomenon. Furthermore, inflation has a positive effect on dividends. Research limitations/implications - The most important finding of this paper is the indication of a positive relationship between inflation and dividend payments. This can be interpreted in two different ways: managers may try to follow a dividend policy, which is perceived to be optimal, believing that there is a desirable level of real dividend income to be paid to their investors. On the other hand, inflation may simply increase the nominal value of corporate earnings and therefore the dividends paid. Independently from the interpretation of the results, inflation should definitely be considered analysing dividend policy. Practical implications - Managers should also examine the inflationary environment formulating an adequate dividend policy for their firm. Originality/value - The paper provides an as of yet widely ignored link between the micro- and macroeconomic sphere examining one of the most important problems of financial economics. Neglecting the effects of inflation on dividends may, among others, be one reason for the mixed empirical findings testing theories of dividend determination.

Suggested Citation

  • Tobias Basse & Sebastian Reddemann, 2011. "Inflation and the dividend policy of US firms," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(1), pages 34-46, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:mfipps:v:37:y:2011:i:1:p:34-46
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Doornik, Jurgen A, 1998. " Approximations to the Asymptotic Distributions of Cointegration Tests," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(5), pages 573-593, December.
    2. Bernhardt, Dan & Douglas, Alan & Robertson, Fiona, 2005. "Testing dividend signaling models," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 77-98, January.
    3. Martin Feldstein, 1982. "Inflation, Capital Taxation, and Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters,in: Inflation: Causes and Effects, pages 153-168 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Søren Johansen & Rocco Mosconi & Bent Nielsen, 2000. "Cointegration analysis in the presence of structural breaks in the deterministic trend," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 3(2), pages 216-249.
    5. DeAngelo, Harry & DeAngelo, Linda & Skinner, Douglas J., 2000. "Special dividends and the evolution of dividend signaling," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 309-354, September.
    6. Lanne, Markku & Lütkepohl, Helmut & Saikkonen, Pentti, 1999. "Comparison of unit root tests for time series with level shifts," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1999,88, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    7. Gregory, Allan W. & Hansen, Bruce E., 1996. "Residual-based tests for cointegration in models with regime shifts," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 99-126, January.
    8. Adaoglu, Cahit, 2000. "Instability in the dividend policy of the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE) corporations: evidence from an emerging market," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 252-270, November.
    9. João R. Faria & Francisco Galrão Carneiro, 2001. "Does High Inflation Affect Growth in the Long and Short Run?," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 4, pages 89-105, May.
    10. Ansgar Belke & Thorsten Polleit, 2006. "Monetary policy and dividend growth in Germany: long-run structural modelling versus bounds testing approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(12), pages 1409-1423.
    11. Gregory, Allan W. & Hansen, Bruce E., 1996. "Residual-based tests for cointegration in models with regime shifts," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 99-126, January.
    12. N. Bhattacharyya, 2007. "Dividend policy: a review," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 33(1), pages 4-13, January.
    13. Varouj Aivazian & Laurence Booth & Sean Cleary, 2003. "Do Emerging Market Firms Follow Different Dividend Policies From U.S. Firms?," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 26(3), pages 371-387.
    14. Johansen, Soren, 1991. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing of Cointegration Vectors in Gaussian Vector Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1551-1580, November.
    15. Gonzalo, Jesus, 1994. "Five alternative methods of estimating long-run equilibrium relationships," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 203-233.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mohammad Mirbagherijam, 2014. "Asymmetric Effect of Inflation on Dividend Policy of Iran's Stocks Market," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 4(2), pages 337-350, February.
    2. Lee, King Fuei, 2011. "Demographics and the Long-Horizon Returns of Dividend-Yield Strategies in the US," MPRA Paper 46350, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Lee, King Fuei, 2013. "Demographics and the long-horizon returns of dividend-yield strategies," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 202-218.
    4. Kunze, Frederik, 2017. "Predicting exchange rates in Asia: New insights on the accuracy of survey forecasts," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 326, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

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