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Marginal Stockholder Tax Effects and Ex-Dividend Day Behavior-Thirty-Two Years Later

Abstract

In 1970 Elton and Gruber (hereafter E&G) started an industry by studying the impact of taxes on investor decisions using the behavior of share prices around the ex-dividend date. E&G showed that if taxes enter investors’ decisions, then the fall in price on the ex-dividend day should reflect the post-tax value of the dividend relative to the post-tax value of capital gains on that day. Because dividends in most time periods are taxed more heavily than capital gains, the theory suggests that if taxes affect investor’s choices, the fall in stock price should in general be less than the dividend

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