Journal of Law, Finance, and Accounting > Vol 6 > Issue 1

Effects of Legalizing Open Market Share Repurchases: International Evidence

Zigan Wang, HKU Business School, Hong Kong, , Luping Yu, Xiamen University, China,
Suggested Citation
Zigan Wang and Luping Yu (2021), "Effects of Legalizing Open Market Share Repurchases: International Evidence", Journal of Law, Finance, and Accounting: Vol. 6: No. 1, pp 125-177.

Publication Date: 06 May 2021
© 2021 Z. Wang and L. Yu
Corporate finance,  International business,  Law and economics
JEL Codes: G32, G35, G38
Share repurchasesfirm valuefirm investmentcash holdingpayout policy


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In this article:
1. Introduction 
2. Legalization and Restrictions of Open Market Share Repurchases 
3. Sample Construction and Data Sources 
4. Empirical Methodology and Results 
5. Cross-Sectional Interaction Analyses 
6. Predictability of Legalization 
7. Comparison with Prior Studies 
8. Conclusion 


By constructing a unique dataset of deregulation laws from 38 countries and utilizing yearly variation in law passage for these markets, we causally identify the effects of legalizing open market share repurchases. After legalization, treasury shares and stock repurchases increase, while dividend, cash holding, capital expenditure, and acquisitions decrease, leading to an increase in post-legalization stock returns and firm value. The effects are weaker in countries with trading restrictions, in countries with lower net tax rates on dividends, for firms with higher target payout ratios, and for financially constrained firms. No macro variables are found to predict the timing of legalization.