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A Catering Theory of Dividends

Malcolm Baker and Jeffrey Wurgler ()

No 9542, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: We develop a theory in which the decision to pay dividends is driven by investor demand. Managers cater to investors by paying dividends when investors put a stock price premium on payers and not paying when investors prefer nonpayers. To test this prediction, we construct four time series measures of the investor demand for dividend payers. By each measure, nonpayers initiate dividends when demand for payers is high. By some measures, payers omit dividends when demand is low. Further analysis confirms that the results are better explained by the catering theory than other theories of dividends.

JEL-codes: G35 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2003-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cfn and nep-fin
Note: CF
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (9) Track citations by RSS feed

Published as Baker, Malcolm and Jeffrey Wurgler. "A Catering Theory Of Dividends," Journal of Finance, 2004, v59(3,Jun), 1125-1165.

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