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Dividend Policies in an Unregulated Market: The London Stock Exchange, 1895--1905

  • Fabio Braggion
  • Lyndon Moore

Miller and Modigliani (1961) show that in perfect and complete financial markets a firm's value is unaffected by its dividend policy. Much of the more recent research has demonstrated that dividend policy becomes important in the presence of taxation, asymmetric information, incomplete contracts, institutional constraints, and transaction costs. By examining the effects of dividend policies on 475 British firms existing between 1895 and 1905, and consequently operating in an environment of very low taxation with an absence of institutional constraints, we find strong support for asymmetric information theories of dividend policy, and little support for agency models. The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com., Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal Review of Financial Studies.

Volume (Year): 24 (2011)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
Pages: 2935-2973

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:24:y:2011:i:9:p:2935-2973
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  1. Denis, David J. & Osobov, Igor, 2008. "Why do firms pay dividends? International evidence on the determinants of dividend policy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 62-82, July.
  2. Sudipto Bhattacharya, 1979. "Imperfect Information, Dividend Policy, and "The Bird in the Hand" Fallacy," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 259-270, Spring.
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  16. Sharpe, Steven A, 1990. " Asymmetric Information, Bank Lending, and Implicit Contracts: A Stylized Model of Customer Relationships," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1069-87, September.
  17. Gustavo Grullon & Roni Michaely & Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 2005. "Dividend Changes Do Not Signal Changes in Future Profitability," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(5), pages 1659-1682, September.
  18. Easterbrook, Frank H, 1984. "Two Agency-Cost Explanations of Dividends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 650-59, September.
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