To study the perception of dividends by the professional investor, for whom mutual fund managers are a proxy. The main line of research in dividends is based on using market data that are fit, ex post, to a cherished hypothesis. It is believed, however, that such data cannot measure motivation which is the underlying force behind generating market data. An understanding of motivation will give us more insight into the dividend paradox (why shareholders love dividends) than just the surface reality one can glean from market data.
Using a survey instrument, the method of analysis (not methodology) is factor analysis and hierarchical grouping that uncovers three distinct groups of professional investors re their attitude towards dividend. This categorization clearly shows that the dividends are perceived differently by the groups found here. Thus, research in dividends cannot follow a traditional route in which the phenomenon is treated as universal, or something similar to a natural occurrence.
Three groups from the more traditional: the more growth‐oriented, aggressive; and a middle‐of‐the‐road group are posited. Although there are some uniformly accepted tenets across the groups, nevertheless, the more traditional group attributes far more importance to dividends than the growth‐oriented group. The latter group perceives dividends as something needed to pacify the shareholder. It is also concluded that none of the academic hypotheses contrived to explain dividend behavior can be supported by empirical evidence. The interesting result is, nevertheless, that the ex post group performance is not significantly different between each possible pairing of the three groups.
As all empirical research goes, results cannot be all‐conclusive, because of time and participation in the sample. This fact alone should not grind to a halt all empirical work. This work is part of a segment of three different studies examining the perception of dividends by corporate managers, and across countries. The next logical step is obviously studying the perception of dividends by the non‐professional investor.
This kind of work was almost never done. This is a first, because unfortunately traditional research that dominates most finance journals does not believe that motivation counts. First, because it satisfies one's desire to better understand the dividend puzzle. But it should be of interest to all who want to study the dividend decision in the firm, and why shareholders love dividends, something entirely not rational as far as economic rationality goes.
Chiang, K., Frankfurter, G., Kosedag, A. and Wood, B. (2006), "The perception of dividends by professional investors", Managerial Finance, Vol. 32 No. 1, pp. 60-81. https://doi.org/10.1108/03074350610641875Download as .RIS
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