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Institutional Tax Clienteles and Payout Policy

  • Mihir A. Desai
  • Li Jin
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    This paper employs heterogeneity in institutional shareholder tax characteristics to identify the relationship between firm payout policy and tax incentives. Analysis of a panel of firms matched with the tax characteristics of the clients of their institutional shareholders indicates that "dividend-averse" institutions are significantly less likely to hold shares in firms with larger dividend payouts. This relationship between the tax preferences of institutional shareholders and firm payout policy could reflect dividend-averse institutions gravitating to low dividend paying firms or managers adapting their payout policies to the interests of their institutional shareholders. Evidence is provided that both effects are operative. Instrumental variables analysis indicates that plausibly exogenous changes in payout policy result in shifting institutional ownership patterns. Similarly, exogenous changes in the tax code indicate that as the tax cost of paying dividends changes, managers alter their dividend policy to serve their institutional shareholders.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13283.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13283.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2007
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    Publication status: published as Desai, Mihir, and Li Jin. "Institutional Tax Clienteles and Payout Policy." Journal of Financial Economics 100, no. 1 (April 2011): 68–84.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13283
    Note: AP CF PE
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    1. Dhaliwal, Dan S. & Erickson, Merle & Trezevant, Robert, 1999. "A Test of the Theory of Tax Clienteles for Dividend Policies," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 179-94, June.
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    3. Eugene F. Fama & Kenneth R. French, . "Testing Tradeoff and Pecking Order Predictions about Dividends and Debt.”," CRSP working papers 506, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    4. Del Guercio, Diane, 1996. "The distorting effect of the prudent-man laws on institutional equity investments," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 31-62, January.
    5. Mihir Desai & William M. Gentry, 2003. "The Character and Determinants of Corporate Capital Gains," NBER Working Papers 10153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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.
    7. Franklin Allen & Antonio Bernardo & Ivo Welch, 1998. "A Theory of Dividends Based on Tax Clienteles," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm92, Yale School of Management.
    8. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521607452 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Michaely, Roni & Thaler, Richard H & Womack, Kent L, 1995. " Price Reactions to Dividend Initiations and Omissions: Overreaction or Drift?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(2), pages 573-608, June.
    10. 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.
    11. Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R., 2001. "The theory and practice of corporate finance: evidence from the field," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 187-243, May.
    12. Elton, Edwin J & Gruber, Martin J, 1970. "Marginal Stockholder Tax Rates and the Clientele Effect," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 52(1), pages 68-74, February.
    13. James M. Poterba, 1987. "Tax Policy and Corporate Saving," Working papers 470, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    14. James Poterba, 2004. "Taxation and Corporate Payout Policy," NBER Working Papers 10321, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Pontiff, Jeffrey, 1996. "Costly Arbitrage: Evidence from Closed-End Funds," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1135-51, November.
    16. Scholz, John Karl, 1992. "A direct examination of the dividend clientele hypothesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 261-285, December.
    17. 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.
    18. Yaniv Grinstein & Roni Michaely, 2005. "Institutional Holdings and Payout Policy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1389-1426, 06.
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