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Université de Fribourg

What if dividends were tax-exempt? : evidence from a natural experiment

Isakov, Dušan ; Pérignon, Christophe ; Weisskopf, Jean-Philippe

(Working Papers SES ; 498)

We study the effect of dividend taxes on the payout and investment policy of listed firms and discuss their implications for agency problems. To do so, we exploit a unique setting in Switzerland where some, but not all, firms were suddenly able to pay tax-exempted dividends to their shareholders following the corporate tax reform of 2011. Using a difference-in-differences specification, we...