The Unintended Impact of Semi-Mandatory Payout Policy in China
Using Chinese data, we investigate the impact of the China Semi-Mandatory Payout Policy that sets an explicit requirement that firms need to distribute at least 20% of their average annual net profits as cash/stock dividends accumulatively in three consecutive years before refinancing via seasoned equity offerings. Firms with the payout level below (above) the cutoff imposed by the Semi-Mandatory Payout Policy are regarded as Treated (Control) group. We find that Treated firms are more likely to cut investment, especially long-term innovation investment, and perform poorly compared to Control group due to lack of money. Treated firms also tend to use earnings management assisting in financing through the debt market as an alternative way to raise money. The negative impact of cutting investment caused by the Semi-Mandatory Payout Policy is more pronounced for firms suffering from severe financial constraints, firms having good corporate governance, and firms located in less financial development areas. We attribute findings to the difficulty of accessing capital that is implicitly increased the China Semi-Mandatory Payout Policy, which alters firms’ behavior leading to insufficient investments and destroys firms’ value.
Jie Xu ;
The Unintended Impact of Semi-Mandatory Payout Policy in China （2022年03月21日）http://www.cfrn.com.cn//lw/gsjr/glzclw/99708a21a9c44035b3bd459496e99ca4.htm