Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-2018

Abstract

Using a large sample of US public companies, we find robust evidence that firms’ payout policies, i.e., dividends and share repurchases, are significantly influenced by the policies of their industry peers. To overcome endogeneity problems, we employ instrumental variable techniques based on peers’ stock price shocks. Peer influence on payouts is more pronounced among firms that face greater product market competition and operate in better information environments. With regards to dividends, firms, especially smaller and younger firms, are more sensitive to industry peers that are similar to them in size and age. However, mimicking repurchases is concentrated among large and mature firms only. Peer influence on dividends, compared to repurchases, seems more stable across firm and industry conditions. Overall, peer influence on dividends, and, to a less extent, on repurchases, is consistent with a rivalry-based theory of imitation, which posits that firms imitate peers’ actions to maintain their competitive parity.

Comments

© 2017 Elsevier B.V. Original published version available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2017.12.010

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

First Page

615

Last Page

637

Publication Title

Journal of Corporate Finance

DOI

10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2017.12.010

Included in

Finance Commons

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