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Taxes and the valuation of dividends: a study of dividend announcements in Germany


  • Haesner, Christian
  • Schanz, Deborah


This paper investigates the impact of the 2001 tax reform in Germany on dividend announcement returns. With this major tax reform, the full imputation system was replaced by the half-income system, which had a significant impact on the relative taxation of dividends and capital gains for most investor classes. In an event study framework, we separate the tax effect of dividends from their positive signaling and agency cost effects to offer a more comprehensive picture of the valuation implications of dividends in Germany. Controlling for signaling and agency cost effects of dividends we find that the market response to positive dividend surprises is more pronounced under the full imputation system, where dividends are generally more favorable to investors from a tax perspective, than under the half-income system. Our results suggest that the observed decline in the dividend response coefficient is synchronized with the 2001 tax reform and hence attributable to the 2001 tax reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Haesner, Christian & Schanz, Deborah, 2011. "Taxes and the valuation of dividends: a study of dividend announcements in Germany," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 117, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:arqudp:117

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Julio Pindado & Chabela de la Torre, 2006. "The Role of Investment, Financing and Dividend Decisions in Explaining Corporate Ownership Structure: Empirical Evidence from Spain," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 12(5), pages 661-687.
    2. Mihir A. Desai & Dhammika Dharmapala & Winnie Fung, 2005. "Taxation and the Evolution of Aggregate Corporate Ownership Concentration," NBER Working Papers 11469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Roger H. Gordon & Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason, 1990. "Effects of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 on Corporate Financial Policy and Organizational Form," NBER Working Papers 3222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Leech, Dennis & Leahy, John, 1991. "Ownership Structure, Control Type Classifications and the Performance of Large British Companies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1418-1437, November.
    5. Mihir A. Desai & William M. Gentry, 2004. "The Character and Determinants of Corporate Capital Gains," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 18, pages 1-36 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Weber, Anke, 2009. "An empirical analysis of the 2000 corporate tax reform in Germany: Effects on ownership and control in listed companies," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 57-66, March.
    7. Becht, Marco & Roell, Ailsa, 1999. "Blockholdings in Europe:: An international comparison1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 1049-1056, April.
    8. Øyvind Bøhren & Bernt Arne Ødegaard, 2001. "Patterns of Corporate Ownership: Insights from a unique data set," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 27, pages 55-86.
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    More about this item


    Dividend Announcements; Taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • G35 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Payout Policy
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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