ETF Dividend Cycles
27 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2023 Last revised: 10 Aug 2023
Date Written: August 9, 2023
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) collect approximately 7% of all U.S. corporate dividends, which they are required to redistribute to investors. How do the funds manage these dividend flows, and does such management have spillover effects on other financial markets? In this paper, we document a new stylized fact of the "ETF dividend cycle:" ETFs gradually invest in money market funds (MMFs) when they accumulate dividend receipts and periodically withdraw from MMFs when they distribute dividends. This cycle creates periodic liquidity shocks to MMFs and, consequently, to the Treasury markets as the affected MMFs liquidate some of their short-term Treasury holdings to satisfy ETFs' dividend-driven withdrawals. As a result, ETF dividend cycles can explain flows to MMFs and fluctuations in Treasury yields.
Keywords: Exchange-Traded Funds, Money Market Funds, Dividends, Treasury Markets, Spillover Effects
JEL Classification: G12, G23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation