Control Structures and Payout Policy

L.D.R. Renneboog, G. Trojanowski

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This paper examines the payout policies of UK firms listed on the London Stock Exchange during the 1990s.It complements the existing literature by analyzing the trends in both dividends and total payouts (including share repurchases).In a dynamic panel data regression setting, we relate target payout ratios to control structure variables.Profitability drives payout decisions of the UK companies, but the presence of strong block holders or block holder coalitions considerably weakens the relationship between corporate earnings and payout dynamics.While the impact of the voting power of shareholders coalitions on payout ratios is found to be always negative, the magnitude of this effect differs across different categories of block holders (i.e. industrial firms, outside individuals, directors, financial institutions).The controlling shareholders appear to trade off the agency problems of free cash flow against the risk of underinvestment, and try to enforce payout policies that optimally balance these two costs.Finally, the paper improves upon some methodological flaws of the recent empirical studies of payout policy.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • Payout policy
  • dividend payout
  • share repurchases
  • partial adjustment
  • ownership and control
  • voting power
  • Banzhaf power indices
  • corporate governance
  • free cash flow
  • pecking order


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