Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


Moore School of Business


Business Administration

First Advisor

Chuck C. Kwok


This dissertation adopts a cross-disciplinary approach relating national culture and law to the `dividend puzzle', which is a classic issue in financial economics. It consists of two essays analyzing the cross-country differences in corporate dividend policies from distinct perspectives. The first essay is based on a cultural psychology perspective and hypothesizes that national culture has an important impact on dividend policies through traditional `bird in hand', signaling, agency and pecking order theories. The hypotheses are supported by empirically robust evidence. The first essay is forthcoming in Journal of International Business Studies, a top-tier journal in international business. In the second essay, we combine the two major agency relationships in corporate governance into one picture and argue that firm insiders balance their dividend policies between minority shareholders' and creditors' interests to minimize the agency costs of equity and debt. We model this behavior and find strong evidence consistent with the predictions of our model. The dissertation contributes to people's understanding of such major societal issues as agency and information asymmetry and was a co-winner of the Best Dissertation Proposal Award in International Finance at Financial Management Association 2009 Annual Conference.


© 2010, Liang Shao