Common Ownership and Firm Dividend Policies

40 Pages Posted: 21 May 2018 Last revised: 6 Dec 2021

See all articles by Alberta Di Giuli

Alberta Di Giuli

ESCP; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Egle Karmaziene

VU University Amsterdam; Swedish House of Finance

Naciye Sekerci

KU Leuven, Department Accounting, Finance and Insurance; Lund University

Date Written: September 28, 2020


This paper examines the relationship between common ownership and firm dividend policy. Using a detailed dataset from Sweden on investors’ holdings, we find that dividend policies of firms newly added to an investor’s portfolio evolve towards the dividend policies of the existing firms in this portfolio. This relationship is neither driven by investors targeting firms forecasted to change their dividend policies, nor by firms with a similar dividend strategy to the companies in the new acquirer’s existing portfolio. Instead, the effect on dividends depends on the characteristics of the new owner and of the company purchased. Our results suggest that owners have a “dividend policy style”, that they are influential in dividend decisions, and that their influence depends on the type of co-owner and the existing governance characteristics of the co-purchased firm.

Keywords: common ownership, dividends, institutional investors, family ownership

JEL Classification: G32, G35

Suggested Citation

Di Giuli, Alberta and Karmaziene, Egle and Sekerci, Naciye, Common Ownership and Firm Dividend Policies (September 28, 2020). Finance Research Letters, 2021, 40. , Available at SSRN: or

Alberta Di Giuli (Contact Author)

ESCP ( email )

Paris Campus
79, Avenue de la Republique
Paris, 75011

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels

Egle Karmaziene

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV

Swedish House of Finance ( email )

Drottninggatan 98
Stockholm, 111 60

Naciye Sekerci

KU Leuven, Department Accounting, Finance and Insurance ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000

Lund University ( email )


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