We analyze how the introduction of repurchases in 1998 affected the payout policy of German firms. To this end, we estimate Lintner (1956) partial adjustment models for both dividends and total payouts. We also analyze the implications for payout of changes in both permanent and transitory earnings. Our results are inconsistent with the hypothesis that dividends and repurchases are perfect substitutes. We also find that repurchases have not taken over the role of special dividends. Our results support the flexibility hypothesis that predicts that (regular) dividends are used to disburse permanent, and more flexible payout methods (special dividends and repurchases) transitory, earnings.