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This paper examines the dividend smoothing (DS) behaviour in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in emerging markets where the response to news and the economic environment are different from those of developed countries.Design/methodology/approachThe authors examine the effect of share price informativeness on DS in the GCC markets using unbalanced panel data for a sample of 628 GCC-listed firms during 1994–2016. For the regression analysis, the hypotheses are tested using panel regressions and generalised method of moments (GMM) estimation.FindingsFirst, the Lintner model shows that the DS degree in GCC firms is comparable to that of a developed market. Second, and importantly, the results reveal that the DS in GCC firms is sensitive to private information of share prices. Finally, the findings indicate that information asymmetry (IA) and agency-based models affect the tendency to smooth dividends in the GCC markets.Originality/valueThis study is the first study to measure the degree of DS using data for all GCC countries. The authors also identify other determinants of DS behaviour and test the agency and IA explanations for DS in GCC-listed firms. The findings are highly recommended to financial managers and analysts dealing with the GCC markets. This study helps financial analysts to use the share price informativeness as an indicator for the presence of the IA. The study results are beneficial to researchers in understanding the relationship between DS and share price informativeness.
Journal of Economic Studies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 24, 2022
Keywords: Dividend smoothing; Share price informativeness; Information asymmetry; GCC
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