nep-acc New Economics Papers
on Accounting and Auditing
Issue of 2006‒06‒17
four papers chosen by
Alexander Harin
Modern University for the Humanities

  1. Dividends and Taxes By Roger Gordon; Martin Dietz
  2. The impact of financial constraints on innovation : evidence from french manufacturing firms. By Frédérique Savignac
  3. The Effect of Dividends on Consumption By Malcolm Baker; Stefan Nagel; Jeffrey Wurgler
  4. Factors Behind Low Long-Term Interest Rates By Rudiger Ahrend; Pietro Catte; Robert Price

  1. By: Roger Gordon; Martin Dietz
    Abstract: How do dividend taxes affect firm behavior and what are their distributional and efficiency effects? To answer these questions, the first problem is coming up with an explanation for why firms pay dividends, in spite of their tax penalty. This paper surveys three different models for why firms pay dividends, and then uses each model to examine the behavioral and efficiency effects of dividend taxes. The three models examined are: the “new view,” an agency cost explanation, and a signaling model. While all three models forecast dividends, their forecasts regarding other firm behavior, and their forecasts for the efficiency and distributional effects of a dividend tax, often differ. Given the evidence to date, we find the agency model is the one most consistent with the data.
    JEL: H25 G35
    Date: 2006–06
  2. By: Frédérique Savignac (CREST et Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of financial constraints on innovation for established firms. We make use of a qualitative indicator of the existence of financial constraints based on firms' own assessment obtained thanks to a French specific survey. Thus, the existence of financial constraints for innovation is measured by a direct indicator whereas previous studies rely on proxies (like the cash-flow sensitivity) subject to interpretation problems. The descriptive analysis of balance sheet structures reveals that innovative firms without financial constraints have the best profile in terms of economic performances, financing structure and risk whereas non innovative firms facing financial constraints have the poorest profile. From the econometric point of view, the probabilities of implementing innovative projects and of facing financial constraints are simultaneously estimated by a recursive bivariate probit model to account for the endogeneity of the financial constraint variable. We then find that firms having innovative projects face financial constraints that significantly reduce the likelihood that they implement their innovative investment. The probability of facing financing constraints is explained by firms' ex ante financing structure and economic performances, by industry sector and it decreases with firms' size.
    Keywords: Innovation, financing constraints, recursive bivariate probit.
    JEL: G31 C35 O31
    Date: 2006–04
  3. By: Malcolm Baker; Stefan Nagel; Jeffrey Wurgler
    Abstract: Classical models predict that the division of stock returns into dividends and capital appreciation does not affect investor consumption patterns, while mental accounting and other economic frictions predict that investors have a higher propensity to consume from stock returns in the form of dividends. Using two micro data sets, we show that investors are indeed far more likely to consume from dividends than capital gains. In the Consumer Expenditure Survey, household consumption increases with dividend income, controlling for total wealth, total portfolio returns, and other sources of income. In a sample of household investment accounts data from a brokerage, net withdrawals from the accounts increase one-for-one with ordinary dividends of moderate size, controlling for total portfolio returns, and also increase with mutual fund and special dividends. We comment on several potential explanations for the results.
    JEL: E2 G3 D1
    Date: 2006–06
  4. By: Rudiger Ahrend; Pietro Catte; Robert Price
    Abstract: Long-term bond yields have been low in recent years both in nominal and real terms, and . especially in the United States - they have reacted differently to shifts in monetary and fiscal stances relative to previous cycles. This article examines various possible explanations for this behaviour, such as the effects of changes in monetary policy frameworks on inflation and interest rate expectations; developments in ex ante saving-investment balances, and shifts in investors. portfolio preferences (including official reserve accumulation, .petro-dollar. recycling and pension fund demand for longer maturities). The paper finds that it is unlikely that any individual explanation can account for the level and profile of bond yields in recent years, but that an important element has been a compression in term premia, together with shifts in expected short rates. Even though bond yields have started to rise in the early part of 2006, they are unlikely to go back to the levels that prevailed in the 1980s or the early 1990s, as several of the factors that drove them lower are set to persist. <P>Éléments à l’origine de la faiblesse des taux d’intérêt à long terme Au cours des années récentes les rendements des obligations à long terme ont été faibles tant en termes nominaux qu’effectifs. Par rapport aux cycles économiques antérieurs, ils ont réagi différemment aux changements de politique monétaire et budgétaire, notamment aux États-Unis. Cet article examine plusieurs explications potentielles de ces comportements comme les effets d’un changement de cadre de la politique monétaire sur l’inflation et les anticipations de taux d’intérêt; l’évolution des soldes ex ante d’épargne et d’investissement et les changements de préférence dans les placements des investisseurs (y compris l’accumulation des réserves officielles, le recyclage des « pétrodollars » et la demande des fonds de pension pour des obligations à maturité longue). L’article conclut qu’il est improbable qu’une seule explication puisse rendre compte du niveau et du profil des rendements obligataires au cours des dernières années. Toutefois, un élément clef a été la réduction de la prime de risque, accompagnée par des changements dans les anticipations de taux d’intérêt à court terme. Néanmoins, bien que les rendements des obligations aient commencé à remonter au début de l’année 2006, il est peu vraisemblable qu’ils atteignent les niveaux enregistrés dans les années 1980 et au début des années 1990, dans la mesure où plusieurs des facteurs qui ont entraîné leur déclin sont amenés à perdurer.
    Keywords: financial markets, marchés financiers, capital flows, flux de capitaux, credibility, monetary policy, crédibilité, politique monétaire, risk premia, current account
    JEL: E43 F2 G11 G15
    Date: 2006–06–13

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