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Are Corporations Reducing or Taking Risks with Derivatives?

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  • Hentschel, Ludger
  • Kothari, S. P.

Abstract

Public discussion about corporate use of derivatives focuses on whether firms use derivatives to reduce or increase firm risk. In contrast, empirical academic studies of corporate dervatives use take it for granted that firms hedge with derivatives. Using data from financial statements of 425 large U.S. corporations, we investigate whether firms systematically reduce or increase their riskiness with derivatives. We find that many firms manage their exposures with large derivatives positions. Nonetheless, compared to firms that do not use financial derivatives, firms that use derivatives display few, if any, measurable differences in risk that are associated with the use of derivatives.

Suggested Citation

  • Hentschel, Ludger & Kothari, S. P., 2001. "Are Corporations Reducing or Taking Risks with Derivatives?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(01), pages 93-118, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:36:y:2001:i:01:p:93-118_00
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