Has the Propensity to Pay Out Declined?
34 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2007
Date Written: August 31, 2007
Several recent studies have documented a significant decline in the propensity to pay dividends over the past 30 years. However, dividends are only one component of a firm's payout policy and it is unclear whether the proportion of firms making net positive payments to shareholders has also declined. Using various measures of the net cash flowing back to shareholders, we find that the propensity to pay out has been relatively constant over the past three decades. Moreover, we find that among firms with low retained earnings there is actually an increasing propensity to distribute cash to equity holders.
Keywords: dividends, share repurchases, net payouts
JEL Classification: G35
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation