NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Appearing and Disappearing Dividends: The Link to Catering Incentives

Malcolm Baker, Jeffrey Wurgler

NBER Working Paper No. 9995
Issued in September 2003
NBER Program(s):   CF

We document a close link between fluctuations in the propensity to pay dividends and catering incentives. First, we use the methodology of Fama and French (2001) to identify a total of four distinct trends in the propensity to pay dividends between 1963 and 2000. Second, we show that each of these trends lines up with a corresponding fluctuation in catering incentives: The propensity to pay increases when a proxy for the stock market dividend premium is positive and decreases when it is negative. The lone disconnect is attributable to Nixon-era controls.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w9995

Published: Baker, Malcolm and Jeffrey Wurgler. "Appearing And Disappearing Dividends: The Link To Catering Incentives," Journal of Financial Economics, 2004, v73(2,Aug), 271-288.

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