Why Do Companies Pay Dividends?
This paper presents a simple model of market equilibrium to explain why firms that maximize the value of their shares pay dividends even though the funds could instead be retained and subsequently distributed to shareholders in a way that would allow them to be taxed more favorably as capital gains. The two principal ingredients of our explanation are: (1) the conflicting preferences of shareholders in different tax brackets and (2) the shareholders' desire for portfolio diversification, we show that companies will pay a positive fraction of earnings in dividends. We also provide some comparative static analysis of dividend behavior with respect to tax parameters and to the conditions determining the riskiness of the securities.
|Date of creation:||1983|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in American Economic Review|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Feldstein, Martin & Sheshinski, Eytan & Green, Jerry, 1979.
"Corporate Financial Policy and Taxation in a Growing Economy,"
3203643, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Feldstein, Martin S & Green, Jerry & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1979. "Corporate Financial Policy and Taxation in a Growing Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 411-32, August.
- Feldstein, Martin S, 1970. "Corporate Taxation and Dividend Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1), pages 57-72, January.
- Alan J. Auerbach, 1980.
"Wealth Maximization and the Cost of Capital,"
NBER Working Papers
0254, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Feldstein, Martin S & Slemrod, Joel, 1980.
"Personal Taxation, Portfolio Choice, and the Effect of the Corporation Income Tax,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 854-66, October.
- Martin Feldstein & Joel Slemrod, 1980. "Personal Taxation, Portfolio Choice and The Effect of the Corporation Income Tax," NBER Working Papers 0241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David F. Bradford, 1979.
"The Incidence and Allocation Effects of a Tax on Corporate Distributions,"
NBER Working Papers
0349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bradford, David F., 1981. "The incidence and allocation effects of a tax on corporate distributions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-22, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3204679. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ben Steinberg)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.