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On the Importance of Measuring Payout Yield: Implications for Empirical Asset Pricing

  • Jacob Boudoukh
  • Roni Michaely
  • Matthew Richardson
  • Michael Roberts

Previous research showed that the dividend price ratio process changed remarkably during the 1980's and 1990's, but that the total payout ratio (dividends plus repurchases over price) changed very little. We investigate implications of this difference for asset pricing models. In particular, the widely documented decline in the predictive power of dividends for excess stock returns in time series regressions in recent data is vastly overstated. Statistically and economically significant predictability is found at both short and long horizons when total payout yield is used instead of dividend yield. We also provide evidence that total payout yield has information in the cross-section for expected stock returns exceeding that of dividend yield and that the high minus low payout yield portfolio is a priced factor. The evidence throughout is shown to be robust to the method of measuring total payouts.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10651.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10651.

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Date of creation: Jul 2004
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Publication status: published as Jacob Boudoukh & Roni Michaely & Matthew Richardson & Michael R. Roberts, 2007. "On the Importance of Measuring Payout Yield: Implications for Empirical Asset Pricing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(2), pages 877-915, 04.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10651
Note: AP
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  1. Marsh, Terry A. & Merton, Robert C., 1984. "Dividend variability and variance bounds tests for the rationality of stock market prices," Working papers 1584-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  2. Andrew Ang & Geert Bekaert, 2001. "Stock Return Predictability: Is it There?," NBER Working Papers 8207, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Shlomo Benartzi & Roni Michaely & Richard Thaler, . "Do Changes in Dividends Signal the Future or the Past?," CRSP working papers 327, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  4. Miller, Merton H & Rock, Kevin, 1985. " Dividend Policy under Asymmetric Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1031-51, September.
  5. Kent Daniel & Sheridan Titman, 1996. "Evidence on the Characteristics of Cross Sectional Variation in Stock Returns," NBER Working Papers 5604, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron, 1974. "The effects of dividend yield and dividend policy on common stock prices and returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 1-22, May.
  7. Allen, Franklin & Michaely, Roni, 2003. "Payout policy," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 337-429 Elsevier.
  8. Miller, Merton H. & Scholes, Myron S., 1978. "Dividends and taxes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 333-364, December.
  9. Litzenberger, Robert H. & Ramaswamy, Krishna, 1979. "The effect of personal taxes and dividends on capital asset prices : Theory and empirical evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 163-195, June.
  10. Jagannathan, Murali & Stephens, Clifford P. & Weisbach, Michael S., 2000. "Financial flexibility and the choice between dividends and stock repurchases," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 355-384, September.
  11. John, Kose & Williams, Joseph, 1985. " Dividends, Dilution, and Taxes: A Signalling Equilibrium," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1053-70, September.
  12. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  13. Gustavo Grullon & Roni Michaely & Bhaskaran Swaminathan, 2002. "Are Dividend Changes a Sign of Firm Maturity?," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(3), pages 387-424, July.
  14. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1983. "Stochastic Consumption, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Asset Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-65, April.
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