The determinants of dividend policy are a continuing puzzle, as noted by Black (1976). In this paper we review the major issues in dividend policy and relate them to some of the themes explored in companion papers in this volume. The paper is divided into five sections. Section 2 surveys the literature on the information signalling properties of dividends. Section 3 discusses some tax issues related to dividend policy and section 4 draws on some agency costs explanations for dividend payments. The conclusion draws together the arguments and highlights some of the unresolved issues.
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