The purpose of this paper is to identify the determinants of dividend policy in an emerging and developing market.
The study employs a quantitative approach using 191 Sri Lankan firms and 1,337 firm-year observations as the sample. The authors apply a Binary Logistic Regression model to uncover the determinants of the propensity to pay dividends, and a Fixed Effect Panel Regression to investigate the determinants of dividend payout.
The authors identify past dividend decision, earnings, investment opportunities, profitability, free cash flow (FCF), corporate governance, state ownership, firm size and industry influence as the key determinants of propensity to pay dividends. In addition past dividends, investment opportunities, profitability and dividend premium are identified as the determinants of dividend payout. Moreover, there is a feedback between dividend yield and profitability in one lag and between dividend yield and dividend premium in two lags, as short-term relationships. Hence, past dividend decision or payout, profitability and investment opportunities are a common set of determinants with implications for both propensity to pay dividends and its payout. The findings support theories of dividends such as signaling, outcome, catering, life cycle, FCF and pecking order.
The findings are important for investors, managers and future research. Investors should focus on the determinants identified by our study when making investment decisions whereas managers should practice the same when formulating appropriate dividend policies for their firms. Future research should rely on propensity to pay dividends and its payout simultaneously to promote a theoretical consensus on the dividend determinant puzzle.
This is the first study that investigates determinants of propensity to pay dividends and dividend payout along with short-term relationships in a single study.
This research is self-funded.
Dewasiri, N., Yatiwelle Koralalage, W., Abdul Azeez, A., Jayarathne, P., Kuruppuarachchi, D. and Weerasinghe, V. (2019), "Determinants of dividend policy: evidence from an emerging and developing market", Managerial Finance, Vol. 45 No. 3, pp. 413-429. https://doi.org/10.1108/MF-09-2017-0331Download as .RIS
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