In this paper, we investigate the relationship between regional social capital and corporate payout policies. Using a large sample of US data, we find a positive relationship between regional social capital and both the likelihood and the amount of cash dividend payouts. However, we find that social capital has no bearing on the likelihood and amount of stock repurchases. The results from additional analyses show that the relationship between social capital and dividends is more pronounced for less geographically dispersed firms. We also find that the network component of social capital has a greater effect on dividends than the social norm component. Our results are robust to alternative specifications of dividends and social capital and to the use of a two-stage least squares (2SLS) analysis to alleviate endogeneity concerns. Overall, we document that regional social capital plays an important role in influencing cash dividend payout policies.
- Corporate social responsibility
- Social capital
- Stock repurchases