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Essays on The Dividend Policy of Financial and non Financial Firms

Abstract : This dissertation aims first to investigate whether banks, which have unique characteristics, use dividends to reduce the agency conflicts between their different stakeholders. Another objective is to investigate if the implementation of a regulation of dividend policy is necessary to oblige firms to pay dividends for good governance purposes. In Chapter 1, we examine if bank managers use dividends to reduce agency cost of equity (managers vs. shareholders) and agency cost of debt (shareholders vs. creditors). We show that bank managers use dividends as substitute to weak legal protection and strike a balance in their dividend policy with however a more decisive role played by the agency cost of equity than the one of debt. Chapter 2 further explores if the degree of ownership concentration and the level of asymmetric information (opacity) faced by outsiders influence banks’ dividend payouts. In either concentrated or dispersed ownership structure insiders (managers or majority shareholders) pay lower dividends when the degree of opacity is high. In line with the entrenchment behavior for banks, insiders extract higher levels of private benefits when it might be more difficult to detect such opportunistic behavior. Higher level of shareholder protection and stronger supervisory regimes help to constrain such behavior. These findings have critical policy implications for the implementation of Basel 3 with restrictions on dividend payouts that might reinforce this entrenchment behavior. In the Chapter 3, we investigate if the implementation of a regulation to oblige firms to pay dividends for better governance is desirable. We consider the case of Indonesia, where the regulator plans to implement a mandatory regulation on dividends in a context of declining dividend payments and weak shareholder rights. The findings recommend that firms should only be required to pay dividends when they reach a certain development stage, and action should only be taken against those firms which do not pay dividends, although they should be able to. Overall, dividend policies should not be regulated by one-policy-for-all regulation.
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Leo Indra Wardhana. Essays on The Dividend Policy of Financial and non Financial Firms. Economics and Finance. Université de Limoges, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016LIMO0005⟩. ⟨tel-01545889⟩

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