Extant literature shows that competition and Economic Policy Uncertainty (EPU) have a bearing on the economic growth, investments and payout policies. However, studies in this area have been limited in India. The objective of this paper is to examine the influence of competition and EPU on the Dividend Payments of Indian Pharmaceutical Industry and whether the dividend payment was affected by the Financial Crisis of 2008/09.
The study is conducted on 12-year data i.e. from 1.4.2007 to 31.3.2019. Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) is used to check the market concentration and EPU is measured by the newly developed Newspaper based EPU index. Profitability, leverage and firm size are used as control variables. Fixed Effects model in Panel regression is used. Chow test checks if there was any break in the dividend payment during the Financial Crisis.
The study establishes that dividend payment is inversely related to industry concentration - when there is more competition, there is more dividend payment in the industry. Dividend payment is positively related to EPU. Higher the uncertainty, higher the dividend. While leverage is inversely related to dividend payment, size of the firm does not play any role. Chow test confirms that Financial Crisis did not influence the dividend payout.