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The Limits to Dividend Arbitrage: Implications for Cross-Border Investment

Author

Listed:
  • Christoffersen, Susan E. K.

    (McGill U)

  • Geczy, Christopher C.

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Musto, David K.
  • Reed, Adam V.

    (University of North Carolina)

Abstract

The economic significance of the tax on cross-border dividends depends on the limits to dividend arbitrage. In the case of Canadian payments to the U.S. we observe these limits exactly because we see the actual pricing of the dividend-arbitrage transactions. These transactions recover only some withholding, so that Canadian and non-tax U.S. accounts perceive different expected returns from Canadian stocks, where the difference increases with dividend yield. The resulting difference in expected utility of wealth is small but the difference in efficient portfolio weights is potentially large and increasing in yield, and the actual difference between Canadian and U.S. holdings of Canadian stocks is large and increasing in yield. Governments may thus take advantage of robust financial markets to boost domestic governance of domestic firms at a low utility cost, though this may be more preferable for zero-dividend firms, whose governance moves abroad.

Suggested Citation

  • Christoffersen, Susan E. K. & Geczy, Christopher C. & Musto, David K. & Reed, Adam V., 2003. "The Limits to Dividend Arbitrage: Implications for Cross-Border Investment," Working Papers 03-2, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:upafin:03-2
    as

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    File URL: http://finance.wharton.upenn.edu/~musto/papers/cgmr.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kang, Jun-Koo & Stulz, Rene M., 1997. "Why is there a home bias? An analysis of foreign portfolio equity ownership in Japan," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 3-28, October.
    2. Karen K. Lewis, 1999. "Trying to Explain Home Bias in Equities and Consumption," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(2), pages 571-608, June.
    3. Geczy, Christopher C. & Musto, David K. & Reed, Adam V., 2002. "Stocks are special too: an analysis of the equity lending market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 241-269.
    4. Laurence Booth, 1987. "The Dividend Tax Credit and Canadian Ownership Objectives," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 20(2), pages 321-339, May.
    5. Black, Fischer, 1974. "International capital market equilibrium with investment barriers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 337-352, December.
    6. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1997. "Industry costs of equity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 153-193, February.
    7. Huberman, Gur, 2001. "Familiarity Breeds Investment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(3), pages 659-680.
    8. Dahlquist, Magnus & Robertsson, Goran, 2001. "Direct foreign ownership, institutional investors, and firm characteristics," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 413-440, March.
    9. Lakonishok, Josef & Vermaelen, Theo, 1983. " Tax Reform and Ex-Dividend Day Behavior," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1157-1179, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elkinawy, Susan, 2005. "Mutual fund preferences for Latin American equities surrounding financial crises," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 211-237, September.
    2. Susan E. K. Christoffersen & Christopher C. Geczy & David K. Musto & Adam V. Reed, 2004. "How and Why do Investors Trade Votes, and What Does it Mean?," CIRANO Working Papers 2004s-23, CIRANO.
    3. Lauren Cohen & Karl B. Diether & Christopher J. Malloy, 2007. "Supply and Demand Shifts in the Shorting Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(5), pages 2061-2096, October.

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