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Do nonfinancial firms use interest rate derivatives to hedge?

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  • Daniel M. Covitz
  • Steven A. Sharpe

Abstract

We compile and analyze detailed information on the debt structure and interest rate derivative positions of nonfinancial firms in 2000 and 2002. We find that differences in debt structure across firms and time tend to be counterbalanced by difference in derivative positions. In particular, among derivative users, smaller firms tend to have relatively more interest rate exposure from liabilities than larger firms and tend to use derivatives that offset these exposures. Larger firms also tend to limit their interest rate exposures, but they do so through their choice of debt structure rather than with derivatives. On the other hand, we find that a large fraction of the change in derivative positions over time cannot be explained by changes in debt structure. Finally, we find no evidence that nonfinancial firms hedge interest rate exposures from their operating assets, but do not see this as supporting the hypothesis that firms use derivatives to speculate.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel M. Covitz & Steven A. Sharpe, 2005. "Do nonfinancial firms use interest rate derivatives to hedge?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-39, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2005-39
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Guedes, Jose & Opler, Tim, 1996. "The Determinants of the Maturity of Corporate Debt Issues," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(5), pages 1809-1833, December.
    2. Mian, Shehzad L., 1996. "Evidence on Corporate Hedging Policy," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(3), pages 419-439, September.
    3. Flannery, Mark J, 1986. "Asymmetric Information and Risky Debt Maturity Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(1), pages 19-37, March.
    4. Guay, Wayne & Kothari, S. P, 2003. "How much do firms hedge with derivatives?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 423-461, December.
    5. Barclay, Michael J & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1995. "The Maturity Structure of Corporate Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(2), pages 609-631, June.
    6. John R. Graham & Daniel A. Rogers, 2002. "Do Firms Hedge in Response to Tax Incentives?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(2), pages 815-839, April.
    7. Titman, Sheridan, 1992. "Interest Rate Swaps and Corporate Financing Choices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1503-1516, September.
    8. Smith, Clifford W. & Stulz, René M., 1985. "The Determinants of Firms' Hedging Policies," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(4), pages 391-405, December.
    9. Froot, Kenneth A & Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1993. "Risk Management: Coordinating Corporate Investment and Financing Policies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1629-1658, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dai, Ya & Guo, Liang & Zhang, Hongxian & Liu, Yu, 2020. "On-balance-sheet duration hedging and firm value," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Interest rate risk; Hedging (Finance); Derivative securities; Risk management;

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