Dividend policy, systematic liquidity risk, and the cost of equity capital

Khelifa Mazouz, Yuliang Wu, Rabab Ebrahim, Abhijit Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines a new channel through which dividend policy can affect firm value. We find that firms that pay dividends exhibit lower systematic liquidity risk than those that do not. We also report a significant negative relationship between dividend payment and systematic liquidity risk. The liquidity improvement associated with dividend payments translates into an economically meaningful reduction in the cost of equity capital. Our results are robust to endogeneity concerns, to alternative measures of liquidity risk and dividend payouts, and to alternative model specifications. Further analysis suggests that the reduction in liquidity risk associated with dividend payouts is more pronounced for weakly governed firms and firms with opaque informational environment. Finally, we find that the recent financial crisis led to a greater increase in systematic liquidity risk for firms with no or low dividend payouts. Overall, our study implies that dividend policy can be used by corporate managers to shape liquidity risk and mitigate the adverse impact of economic downturns on the value of their firms.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages38
JournalReview of Quantitative Finance and Accounting
Early online date18 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Nov 2022

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