Do Fair Value Adjustments Influence Dividend Policy?
Accounting and Business Research, Vol. 42, No. 1, 2011
34 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2009 Last revised: 8 Jun 2010
Date Written: April 1, 2010
We examine the impact of positive fair value adjustments on dividend policy. If fair value adjustments are transitory in nature and managers are able to assess their implications for future earnings, including fair value adjustments in net income is expected to have no distribution consequences. However, positive fair value adjustments may lead to higher dividends when management incorrectly assesses their persistence. This can have a procyclical impact because higher dividends increase leverage, and thus risk. We use a Russian setting that mandates fair value accounting for financial instruments and requires disclosure of unrealised fair value adjustments in income. We find no empirical support for the concern that dividends increase in response to positive fair value adjustments. Rather, there is a negative relationship between positive fair value adjustments and dividend changes, which holds after controlling for dividend policy determinants and any endogenous nature of the revaluation decision. We discuss several possible explanations for this finding.
Keywords: fair value accounting, dividend policy, earnings persistence
JEL Classification: M41, G35
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation