Document Type




Format of Original

16 p.

Publication Date




Source Publication

Journal of Corporate Finance

Source ISSN



This paper investigates catering as a motivation for substitution between share repurchases and dividend payments. I hypothesize that firms cater to investor demand by repurchasing shares when investors place a premium on the stock price of firms that repurchase shares, and by paying dividends when investors place a higher value on dividend-paying firms. I propose a proxy to measure the relative preference for repurchases over dividends — the difference premium. Results show that the decision to repurchase shares or to pay dividends depends on this premium. Firms channel higher fractions of the additional payout dollars toward share repurchases when this premium is high. The market reaction to dividend changes is more favorable when firms act in accordance with the catering hypothesis. Overall, I find that catering plays a role in the substitution between repurchases and dividends.


Accepted version. Journal of Corporate Finance. Vol. 21 (June 2013): 180-195. DOI. © 2013 Elsevier. Used with permission.

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Corporate Finance. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Corporate Finance, [VOL 21, (June 2013)]. DOI.