Abstract. This paper analyzes governance and ownership structure and their impact s on dividend policy in emerging markets during financial crises . Our results provide strong evidence of the significant role of corporate ownership structure and board characteristics in explaining the behavior of dividend policy mainly during crisis periods. We show that firms with a higher proportion of institutional shareholders pursue higher dividend payout ratios. This study is of particular interest for business managers in their choice of strategies to be adopted in respect for dividend policy during cr isis periods.