Ownership structure and family-control, the effects on dividends : - A study on listed firms in Sweden
Sammanfattning: This study investigates how the ownership structure affects the dividend payout policies of firms in Sweden. The study uses data on publicly listed firms in Sweden (Nasdaq Stockholm) over the years 2015-2019 with a total of 987 firm-year observations. The hypotheses are tested with multiple fixed effects analyses on two datasets. Our results show that family-controlled firms pay out higher dividends compared to non-family-controlled firms, suggesting that dividends are used as a governance mechanism to mitigate agency problems. The other hypotheses test different constellations of ownership structures within family-controlled firms and reveal that the presence of a family blockholder lowers the dividends payout, while a non-family blockholder increases dividends. These findings suggest that owners that share characteristics tend to collude in order to lower dividends and extract private benefits and that blockholders of other characteristics oppose. Lastly, the presence of multiple blockholders also results in higher dividends payouts, suggesting that collusion among multiple blockholders becomes more difficult as more wills are in play, thus resulting in the decreased possibility to exercise profitable collisional actions.
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