The impact of insider trading laws on dividend payout policy

Brockman, Paul ; Tresl, Jiri ; Unlu, Emre

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Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2014
The title of a journal, publication series: Journal of Corporate Finance
Volume: 29
Page range: 263-287
Place of publication: Amsterdam [u.a.]
Publishing house: Elsevier
ISSN: 0929-1199
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > ABWL, Finanzwirtschaft u. Finanzmarktinstitutionen (Spalt 2019-)
Subject: 650 Management
Abstract: We posit that firms use dividend payout policy to reduce information asymmetry and agency costs caused by country-level institutional weaknesses. Firms operating in countries with weak insider trading laws attempt to mitigate this institutional weakness by committing themselves to paying out large and stable cash dividends. We test this central hypothesis (among others) using an international sample of firms across 24 countries, as well as by conducting a case study during an enforcement action. The results show that weak insider trading laws lead to a higher propensity of paying dividends, larger dividend amounts and greater dividend smoothing. We also show that the market's valuation of dividend payouts is significantly higher when insider trading protection is weak. It is important to note that these insider trading results are not due to cross-country variations in investor or creditor protection, nor are they contingent on the enforcement of insider trading laws. Overall, our evidence supports the view that dividend payouts serve as a substitute bonding mechanism when country-level legal protections fail.

Dieser Datensatz wurde nicht während einer Tätigkeit an der Universität Mannheim veröffentlicht, dies ist eine Externe Publikation.

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