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On the Determinants and Dynamics of Dividend Policy

Sami Ben Naceur, Mohamed Goaied and Amel Belanes

International Review of Finance, 2006, vol. 6, issue 1‐2, 1-23

Abstract: The authors study the dividend policy of 48 firms listed on the Tunisian Stock Exchange during the period 1996–2002. The study tests whether or not managers of Tunisian listed firms smooth their dividends. Moreover, the study outlines the main determinants that may drive the dividend policy of Tunisian quoted firms. To answer the first question, we use Lintner's model in a dynamic setting. The results clearly demonstrate that Tunisian firms rely on both current earnings and past dividends to fix their dividend payment. However, the study shows that dividends tend to be more sensitive to current earnings than prior dividends. To find out the determinants of dividend policy, dynamic panel regressions have been performed. First, profitable firms with more stable earnings can afford larger free cash flows and thus pay larger dividends. Furthermore, they distribute larger dividends whenever they are growing fast. However, neither the ownership concentration nor the financial leverage seems to have any impact on dividend policy in Tunisia. Also, the liquidity of stock market and size negatively impacts the dividend payment. The results are somewhat robust to different specifications.

Date: 2006
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International Review of Finance is currently edited by Bruce D. Grundy, Naifu Chen, Ming Huang, Takao Kobayashi and Sheridan Titman

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