Faculté des sciences économiques et sociales

Chasing dividends during the COVID-19 pandemic

Eugster, Nicolas ; Ducret, Romain ; Isakov, Dušan ; Weisskopf, Jean-Philippe

(Working Papers SES ; 520)

This paper investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the trading behavior of investors around ex-dividend dates in Europe. The sudden decrease in the number of companies paying dividends reduced the opportunities to capture dividends. The firms that have maintained dividend payments during the pandemic thus attracted more interest than before. This led to a doubling in the magnitude... More

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    Summary
    This paper investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the trading behavior of investors around ex-dividend dates in Europe. The sudden decrease in the number of companies paying dividends reduced the opportunities to capture dividends. The firms that have maintained dividend payments during the pandemic thus attracted more interest than before. This led to a doubling in the magnitude of stock return patterns usually observed around ex-dividend days. Our evidence indicates that dividend-seeking investors are likely to be the main driver of the price patterns observed around ex-dividend dates.