The Market Value of Dividend Imputation Credits Implied by Futures Prices
15 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2017 Last revised: 9 Jul 2019
Date Written: July 7, 2019
A limitation of prior research on imputation credit value is researchers’ selective interpretation of the regression coefficient used to estimate credit value. This ignores the in-sample evidence on the value of cash dividends and the value of a fully-franked dividend. This is a problem because a sample of security prices, unfranked dividends and franked dividends necessarily leads to the simultaneous estimation of the value of a cash dividend and an imputation credit. We measure the value of imputation credits under three tax regimes, accounting for the joint estimation of the value of cash and credits.
The practical implication is that in the cash rebate regime, the market value of imputation credits lies within the range of -0.12 to 0.17. A dollar of cash is valued by the market at somewhere between 88 cents and 98 cents. At the lower end of the cash value (0.88), credits are worth between 0.04 and 0.17; and at the higher end of cash value (0.98), credits are worth between -0.12. and 0.00. The value of imputation credits has, in our view, moved over time in a direction consistent with changing tax treatment. But it is plausible that the value of imputation credits has remained within the range of -0.04 to 0.06 across all three tax regimes.
Keywords: Imputation credits, cost of capital, regression, collinearity
JEL Classification: G12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation