We compare the cross-sectional variation in the dividend payout policies of companies across 32 countries. Beyond the impact of firm-specific accounting and financial variables, this study investigates how the country level variations: shareholder demand due to demographic variations and consumption needs, agency problems manifested in the extent of minority shareholder protection and business disclosures, and market quality in terms of transparency and liquidity; affect the dividend payout policies. We find that firms have generous dividend payout policies when diverse shareholder demands are strong, extents of business disclosures and legal protections are weak, and the market qualities are poor. The empirical evidence supports the presence of strong dividend clienteles in a global setting.
Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 24, 2013
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