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The exchange rate exposure puzzle

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  • Söhnke M. Bartram
  • Gordon M. Bodnar

Abstract

Purpose -Based on basic financial models and reports in the business press, exchange rate movements are generally believed to affect the value of nonfinancial firms. In contrast, the empirical research on nonfinancial firms typically produces fewer significant exposures estimates than researchers expect, independent of the sample studied and the methodology used, giving rise to a situation known as “the exposure puzzle”. To this end, this paper aims to systematically analyze the existing empirical evidence of the exposure phenomenon and to attempt to understand the possible source of the exposure puzzle. Design/methodology/approach -The paper provides a survey of the existing research on the exposure phenomenon for nonfinancial firms. A simple model of exposure elasticity is also used to demonstrate the substantial impact of operational hedging on exposure elasticities. Furthermore, the evidence on the nature of firms’ financial derivative usage is considered. Findings - It is suggested that the exposure puzzle may not be a problem of empirical methodology or sample selection as previous research has suggested, but is simply the result of the endogeneity of operative and financial hedging at the firm level. Given that empirical tests estimate exchange exposures net of corporate hedging, both firms with low gross exposures that do not need to hedge and firms with large gross exposures that employ one or several forms of hedging, may exhibit only weak exchange rate exposures net of hedging. Consequently, empirical tests yield only small percentages of firms with significant stock price exposures in almost any sample. Originality/value -If firms react rationally to their exposures, most firms will either have no exposure to start with, or reduce their exposure to levels that may be too small to detect empirically. Consequently, the exposure puzzle may not be a problem with methodology or theory, but mainly the result of endogeneity of operative and financial hedging at the firm level.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Managerial Finance.

Volume (Year): 33 (2007)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
Pages: 642-666

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Handle: RePEc:eme:mfipps:v:33:y:2007:i:9:p:642-666

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Related research

Keywords: Corporate finances; Derivative marketing; Exchange rates; Hedging; Risk management;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bartram, Söhnke M. & Burns, Natasha & Helwege, Jean, 2007. "Foreign Currency Exposure and Hedging: Evidence from Foreign Acquisitions," MPRA Paper 10122, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 21 Aug 2008.
  2. Ding Du & Pin Ng & Xiaobing Zhao, 2013. "Measuring currency exposure with quantile regression," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 549-566, October.
  3. Bartram, Sohnke M. & Bodnar, Gordon M., 2006. "Crossing the Lines: The Conditional Relation between Exchange Rate Exposure and Stock Returns in Emerging and Developed Markets," MPRA Paper 13064, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Nov 2008.
  4. Bartram, Sohnke M., 2007. "Corporate cash flow and stock price exposures to foreign exchange rate risk," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 981-994, December.
  5. Aysun, Uluc & Guldi, Melanie, 2011. "Exchange rate exposure: A nonparametric approach," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 321-337.
  6. Hutson, Elaine & Laing, Elaine, 2014. "Foreign exchange exposure and multinationality," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 97-113.
  7. Erwin Hansen S. & Stuart Hyde, 2013. "Determinants of corporate exchange rate exposure in Chilean firms," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 16(3), pages 70-88, December.
  8. Uluc Aysun & Melanie Guldi, 2008. "Increasing Derivatives Market Activity in Emerging Markets and Exchange Rate Exposure," Working papers 2008-06, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2008.

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