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Ex-Dividend Day Returns when Dividend and Capital Gains are Taxed at the Same Rate

Due to the overwhelming international evidence that stock prices drop by less than the dividend paid on ex-dividend days, the ex-dividend day anomaly is considered a stylized fact. Two main approaches have emerged to explain this empirical regularity: the tax-clientele hypothesis and the microstructure of financial markets. Although the most widely accepted explanation for this fact relies on taxes, the ex-dividend day anomaly has been reported even in countries where neither dividends nor capital gains are taxed. The 2006 tax reform in Spain established the same tax rate for dividends and capital gains. This paper investigates stock returns on ex-dividend days in the Spanish stock market after the 2006 tax reform using a random coefficient model. Contrary to previous research, we do not observe an ex-dividend day anomaly. Unlike previous investigations, which are mostly concerned with suggesting explanations as to why this anomaly has occurred, we are in the somewhat strange position of discussing why this anomaly has not occurred. Our findings are robust across companies and stock dividend yields, thus supporting a tax-based explanation for the ex-dividend day anomaly.

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Article provided by Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences in its journal Finance a uver - Czech Journal of Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 61 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 140-152

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Handle: RePEc:fau:fauart:v:61:y:2011:i:2:p:140-152
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  1. Lakonishok, Josef & Vermaelen, Theo, 1986. "Tax-induced trading around ex-dividend days," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 287-319, July.
  2. Murray Frank & Ravi Jagannathan, 1997. "Why do stock prices drop by less than the value of the dividend? Evidence from a country without taxes," Staff Report 229, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Gene Amromin & Paul Harrison & Steven Sharpe, 2005. "How did the 2003 dividend tax cut affect stock prices?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-61, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Poterba, James M & Summers, Lawrence H, 1984. " New Evidence that Taxes Affect the Valuation of Dividends," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(5), pages 1397-1415, December.
  5. N. Bhattacharyya, 2007. "Dividend policy: a review," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 33(1), pages 4-13.
  6. Khamis Al Yahyaee & Toan Pham & Terry Walter, 2008. "Ex-Dividend Day Behavior in the Absence of Taxes and Price Discreteness-super-," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 8(3-4), pages 103-123.
  7. Milonas, Nikolaos T. & Travlos, Nickolaos G. & Xiao, Jason Zezhong & Tan, Cunkai, 2006. "The ex-dividend day stock price behavior in the Chinese stock market," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 155-174, April.
  8. Apostolos Dasilas, 2009. "The ex-dividend day stock price anomaly: evidence from the Greek stock market," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 59-91, March.
  9. Brown, Stephen J. & Warner, Jerold B., 1980. "Measuring security price performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 205-258, September.
  10. John R. Graham & Roni Michaely & Michael R. Roberts, 2003. "Do Price Discreteness and Transactions Costs Affect Stock Returns? Comparing Ex-Dividend Pricing before and after Decimalization," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(6), pages 2611-2636, December.
  11. A. Craig MacKinlay, 1997. "Event Studies in Economics and Finance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 13-39, March.
  12. Ashok J. Robin, 1991. "The Impact of the 1986 Tax Reform Act on Ex-Dividend Day Returns," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 20(1), Spring.
  13. Karpoff, Jonathan M. & Walkling, Ralph A., 1988. "Short-term trading around ex-dividend days : Additional evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 291-298, September.
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