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Payout Policy in Korea II : A Review of Empirical Evidence

  • Sungmin Kim Professor of Finance, College of Business and Economics, Hanyang University
  • Eun Jung Lee Professor of Finance, College of Business and Economics, Hanyang University
This paper reviews the empirical evidence on payout policy in Korea over the last three decades. This study aims at providing the researcher with a comprehensive understanding of dividend policy by reviewing the theories and empirical evidence of dividend policy including tax-preference, information asymmetry and signaling hypothesis, agency costs and the free cash flow hypothesis, and catering theory of dividends. The theoretical and empirical research on dividends and stock repurchases has produced an extensive volume of literature. Despite decades of study, we have yet to understand completely the factors that influence dividend policy and how these factors interact. One of the reasons for the difficulty in resolving the dividend puzzle is that some researchers have strived to develop a universal, one-size-fits-all explanation, despite knowing that dividend policy is sensitive to factors like firm characteristics, market friction, corporate governance, and legal environments. Although not all of the pieces of the dividend puzzle may be in place, this paper features information that provides useful guidance for identifying the determinants of payout policy in the real world.

  • Sungmin Kim
  • Eun Jung Lee
This paper reviews the empirical evidence on payout policy in Korea over the last three decades. This study aims at providing the researcher with a comprehensive understanding of dividend policy by reviewing the theories and empirical evidence of dividend policy including tax-preference, information asymmetry and signaling hypothesis, agency costs and the free cash flow hypothesis, and catering theory of dividends. The theoretical and empirical research on dividends and stock repurchases has produced an extensive volume of literature. Despite decades of study, we have yet to understand completely the factors that influence dividend policy and how these factors interact. One of the reasons for the difficulty in resolving the dividend puzzle is that some researchers have strived to develop a universal, one-size-fits-all explanation, despite knowing that dividend policy is sensitive to factors like firm characteristics, market friction, corporate governance, and legal environments. Although not all of the pieces of the dividend puzzle may be in place, this paper features information that provides useful guidance for identifying the determinants of payout policy in the real world.
Dividends,Dividend policy,Share repurchases,Payout policy,Korean stock markets