SYNOPSIS: We examine whether dividend paying status is associated with the quality of earnings. We find dividend paying status is associated with (1) lower absolute values of discretionary accruals; (2) lower standard deviation and absolute magnitude of the errors associated with the mapping of accruals into cash flows; and (3) more value relevant earnings. We also find evidence that the positive association between dividend paying status and earnings quality is stronger (weaker) when the size of dividend payouts is larger (smaller). Overall, our results suggest dividend paying status is indicative of firms’ earnings quality.

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