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A Microstructure Analysis of Ex-dividend Stock Price Behavior before and after the 1984 and 1986 Tax Reform Acts


  • Koski, Jennifer Lynch


This article extends ex-dividend research by explicitly modeling trading at bid and ask quotations. This refinement distinguishes between buying and selling for long-term investors and short-term dividend capture traders. It also explicitly incorporates the bid-ask spread and eliminates some potential measurement errors that may bias returns. Marginal conditions are tested during 1983 and 1988, periods that span the 1984 and 1986 Tax Reform Acts. Results for long-term investors are consistent with the elimination of favorable capital gains tax rates. At observed prices, tax-neutral short-term traders cannot profit. Corporate dividend capture traders face profit opportunities during 1983 that disappear by 1988. Copyright 1996 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Koski, Jennifer Lynch, 1996. "A Microstructure Analysis of Ex-dividend Stock Price Behavior before and after the 1984 and 1986 Tax Reform Acts," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69(3), pages 313-338, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jnlbus:v:69:y:1996:i:3:p:313-38
    DOI: 10.1086/209693

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    Cited by:

    1. Henker, Thomas & Martens, Martin, 2005. "Index futures arbitrage before and after the introduction of sixteenths on the NYSE," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 353-373, June.
    2. Liljeblom, Eva & Loflund, Anders & Hedvall, Kaj, 2001. "Foreign and domestic investors and tax induced ex-dividend day trading," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1687-1716, September.
    3. Hasbrouck, Joel & Seppi, Duane J., 2001. "Common factors in prices, order flows, and liquidity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 383-411, March.
    4. Poterba, James M., 2002. "Taxation, risk-taking, and household portfolio behavior," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.),Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 17, pages 1109-1171, Elsevier.
    5. Jeff Whitworth & Ramesh P. Rao, 2010. "Do Tax Law Changes Influence Ex‐Dividend Stock Price Behavior? Evidence from 1926 to 2005," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 39(1), pages 419-445, March.
    6. Aelee Jun & V. T. Alaganar & Graham Partington & Max Stevenson, 2008. "Price and Volume Behavior around the Ex‐dividend Day: Evidence on the Value of Dividends from American Depositary Receipts and their Underlying Australian Stocks," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 8(1‐2), pages 21-55, March.
    7. Frank, Murray & Jagannathan, Ravi, 1998. "Why do stock prices drop by less than the value of the dividend? Evidence from a country without taxes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 161-188, February.
    8. Andrew B. Ainsworth & Kingsley Y.L. Fong & David R. Gallagher & Graham Partington, 2018. "Taxes, Order Imbalance and Abnormal Returns around the ex‐Dividend day," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 18(3), pages 379-409, September.
    9. Blau, Benjamin M. & Fuller, Kathleen P. & Van Ness, Robert A., 2011. "Short selling around dividend announcements and ex-dividend days," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 628-639, June.
    10. Khamis Al Yahyaee & Toan Pham & Terry Walter, 2008. "Ex‐Dividend Day Behavior in the Absence of Taxes and Price Discreteness," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 8(3‐4), pages 103-123, September.
    11. Ravinder K. Bhardwaj & LeRoy D. Brooks, 1999. "Further Evidence On Dividend Yields And The Ex-Dividend Day Stock Price Effect," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 22(4), pages 503-514, December.
    12. Jeff Whitworth & David A. Carter, 2010. "The Ex‐Day Price Behavior of REITs: Taxes or Ticks?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 733-752, Winter.
    13. Bali, Rakesh & Hite, Gailen L., 1998. "Ex dividend day stock price behavior: discreteness or tax-induced clienteles?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 127-159, February.
    14. Oliver Zhen Li, 2010. "Tax-Induced Dividend Capturing," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(7-8), pages 866-904.
    15. H. Chu & G. Partington, 2008. "The Market Valuation of Cash Dividends: The Case of the CRA Bonus Issue," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 8(1‐2), pages 1-20, March.
    16. William Hardin & Gow-Cheng Huang & Kartono Liano, 2012. "Dividend Size, Yield, Clienteles and REITs," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 435-449, August.

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