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International Dividend Repatriations

  • Alexander Lehmann
  • Ashoka Mody

Income earned by the branches and subsidiaries of multinational firms can be either reinvested in the host country or repatriated as dividends to the firms' headquarters. Despite the rapid growth of foreign direct investment in the 1990s, there has been relatively limited analysis of the dividend behavior of multinationals. We find that investors in multinationals from the two largest foreign- investing countries-the United Kingdom and the United States-require a steady flow of dividends, consistent with a view that such regular dividend payments are a mechanism through which to discipline host-country managers. In contrast, German investors, who tend to invest in riskier countries, do not appear to demand persistent dividend payments. Changes in income also influence dividends. This payout ratio from income appears, for example, to be lower for less risky countries. Finally, the evidence suggests that dividend payments do not necessarily aggravate the balance of payments position during crises.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 04/5.

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Length: 26
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:04/5
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  1. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "Investor Protection and Corporate Governance," Working Paper 19455, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  2. Rosanne Altshuler & Harry Grubert, 2002. "Repatriation Taxes, Repatriation Strategies and Multinational Financial Policy," Departmental Working Papers 200009, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  3. Alan Greenspan, 2003. "Corporate governance," Proceedings 868, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. James R. Hines, Jr. & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1989. "Coming Home to America: Dividend Repatriations by U.S. Multinationals," NBER Working Papers 2931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines Jr., 2001. "Repatriation Taxes and Dividend Distortions," NBER Working Papers 8507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Shlomo Benartzi & Roni Michaely & Richard Thaler, 1997. "Do Changes in Dividends Signal the Future or the Past?," CRSP working papers 455, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
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