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What drives dividend smoothing? A meta regression analysis of the Lintner model

Erik Fernau and Stefan Hirsch

International Review of Financial Analysis, 2019, vol. 61, issue C, 255-273

Abstract: We revisit the view of dividend smoothing as one of the most robust findings in the empirical corporate finance literature by employing meta-regression analysis (MRA). Using 99 empirical studies that employ Lintner's dividend payout model we investigate the heterogeneity in reported dividend smoothing effects. We find evidence for (i) a mediocre degree of dividend smoothing across the analyzed literature, (ii) bi-directional publication bias -i.e. a tendency to preferably report positive and statistically significant smoothing as well as dividend smoothing coefficients close to zero (i.e. high speed of adjustment coefficients), and (iii) several drivers for the heterogeneity in reported smoothing coefficients such as the set of control variables or estimation technique. Our MRA can provide guidance for investors' expectations and future research on dividend smoothing.

Keywords: Meta regression analysis; Dividend smoothing; Lintner model; Publication bias (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C83 G32 G35 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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