This paper examines the relation between agency costs and payout policy using a sample of 755 firms that cross-list shares abroad. Firms increase cash payouts to shareholders by about 9% of earnings after cross-listing on exchanges with high standards of transparency and shareholder protection. The shift in payout policy is more pronounced in firms controlled by management. No shift is observed if shareholder protection in the country of incorporation is already strong, or if the host exchange does not mandate additional disclosure. The findings support the theory that high corporate payouts are the outcome of transparency and shareholder protection.