Dividend Payouts and Government Support during Covid-19 : An empirical analysis of dividend payouts in Norway during Covid-19
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- Master Thesis 
The purpose of this master thesis is to investigate whether receiving emergency state aid to mitigate the negative economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic impacted the likelihood of dividends in 2020. Further, we attempt to shed light on whether firms that received more compensation than necessary to survive were more or less likely than their counterparties to pay dividends. Through 2020 data on accounting figures and received compensation obtained from The Norwegian Tax Administration, we analysis the data through a logistic differencein- difference regression model. We further investigate for heterogeneity in outcome across region and sector affiliation. Our results show significant results indicating that receiving compensation decreased the likelihood of dividends during the pandemic. The results overall hold true despite heterogeneity in received compensation across sector and region affiliation. Also, we find that contrary to public criticism of the scheme, firms that received more compensation than necessary to survive were less likely to pay dividends in 2020, however the impact was not as negative for these firms as for their counterparties that did not receive more than necessary. The results imply that while the compensation scheme had its shortcomings during the first stages of the pandemic, we find no evidence that the scheme contributed to an increase in the likelihood of dividends in 2020.