The Investment Opportunity Set and Corporate Financing, Dividend, and Compensation Policies: Empirical Evidence for Large Electric Holding Companies

Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Science in Management Systems (Sc.D.)




Wentworth Boynton

Committee Member

Kamal Upadhyaya

Committee Member

Armando Rodriguez

LC Subject Headings

Electric utilities--Deregulation, Corporations--Finance

Call No. at the Univ. of New Haven Library

AS 36 N290 Mgmt. Syst. 2007 no. 2


This paper examines how firms alter their financing, dividend and compensation policies as a result of shifts in their investment opportunity sets. During the 1990s, electric utilities deregulated. Past research in corporate finance predicts that as an industry deregulates, debt should decrease, dividend yield should decrease, and executive compensation should increase. Using a sample of 65 large electric utility firms listed on the 2005 Edison Electric Institute Index, this study finds no evidence that deregulated firms generally have lower debt than regulated. The study, however, shows that deregulated firms pay their executives higher cash compensation but finds insignificant support for the claim that as a firm deregulates, it pays lower dividend.