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Did Firms Substitute Dividends for Share Repurchases after the 2003 Reductions in Shareholder Tax Rates?

  • Jennifer L. Blouin
  • Jana Smith Raedy
  • Douglas A. Shackelford

This paper tests whether firms altered their dividend and share repurchase policies in response to the 2003 reductions in shareholder tax rates. We predict that firms substituted dividends for repurchases, because the reduction in dividend tax rates exceeded the reduction in the capital gains tax rates. As expected, we find substitution and find that it is increasing in the percentage of the company owned by individual investors, the only shareholders affected by the legislation. These findings are consistent with boards of directors considering the tax preferences of individual stockholders (particularly officers and managers) when setting dividend and share repurchase policies.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13601.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13601.

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Date of creation: Nov 2007
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Publication status: published as Article Citation: Jennifer L. Blouin, Jana S. Raedy, and Douglas A. Shackelford (2011) Dividends, Share Repurchases, and Tax Clienteles: Evidence from the 2003 Reductions in Shareholder Taxes. The Accounting Review: May 2011, Vol. 86, No. 3, pp. 887-914.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13601
Note: PE CF
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  1. Roger Gordon & Martin Dietz, 2006. "Dividends and Taxes," NBER Working Papers 12292, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 2001. "Disappearing dividends: changing firm characteristics or lower propensity to pay?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 3-43, April.
  3. Dan Dhaliwal & Oliver Zhen Li, 2006. "Investor Tax Heterogeneity and Ex-Dividend Day Trading Volume," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(1), pages 463-490, 02.
  4. Bagwell, Laurie Simon & Shoven, John B, 1989. "Cash Distributions to Shareholders," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 129-40, Summer.
  5. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1990. "Tax Policy and the Dividend Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 3434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Brav, Alon & Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R. & Michaely, Roni, 2005. "Payout policy in the 21st century," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 483-527, September.
  8. Jennifer L. Blouin & Jana Smith Raedy & Douglas A. Shackelford, 2003. "Capital Gains Taxes and Equity Trading: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 611-651, 09.
  9. 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.
  10. Feldstein, Martin & Green, Jerry, 1983. "Why Do Companies Pay Dividends?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 17-30, March.
  11. Merton H. Miller & Franco Modigliani, 1961. "Dividend Policy, Growth, and the Valuation of Shares," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34, pages 411.
  12. Raj Chetty & Emmanuel Saez, 2007. "An Agency Theory of Dividend Taxation," NBER Working Papers 13538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. DeAngelo, Harry & DeAngelo, Linda & Skinner, Douglas J., 2000. "Special dividends and the evolution of dividend signaling," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 309-354, September.
  14. Gustavo Grullon & Roni Michaely, 2002. "Dividends, Share Repurchases, and the Substitution Hypothesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(4), pages 1649-1684, 08.
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