[Journal:] China Journal of Accounting Research [ISSN:] 1755-3091 [Volume:] 4 [Year:] 2011 [Issue:] 1/2 [Pages:] 29-46
Using a sample of 1486 Chinese A-share listed companies for the period 2004-2008, this study empirically tests the impact of family control, institutional environment and their interaction on the cash dividend policy of listed companies. Our results indicate that (1) family firms have a lower cash dividend payout ratio and propensity to pay dividends than non-family firms; (2) a favorable regional institutional environment has a significant positive impact on the cash dividend payout ratio and propensity to pay dividends of listed companies; and (3) the impact of the regional institutional environment on cash dividends is stronger in family firms than in non-family firms. Somewhat surprisingly, we find that controlling family shareholders in China may intensify Agency Problem I (the owner-manager conflict) rather than Agency Problem II (the controlling shareholder-minority shareholder conflict), and thus have a significant negative impact on cash dividend policy. In contrast, a favorable regional institutional environment plays a positive corporate governance role in mitigating Agency Problem I and encouraging family firms to pay cash dividends.
Family control Institutional environment Cash dividend Corporate governance