Derivatives and Corporate Risk Management: Participation and Volume Decisions in the Insurance Industry
The use of derivatives in corporate risk management has grown rapidly in recent years. In this paper, the authors explore the factors that influence the use of financial derivatives in the U.S. insurance industry. Their objective is to investigate the motivations for corporate risk management The authors use regulatory data on individual holdings and transactions in derivative markets. According to modern finance theory, shares of widely held corporations are held by diversified investors who operate in frictionless and complete markets and eliminate non-systematic risk through their portfolio choices. But this theory has been challenged by new hypotheses that take into account market imperfections, information asymmetries and incentive conflicts as motivations for corporate managers to change the risk/return profile of their firm. The authors develop a set of hypotheses regarding the hedging behavior of insurers and perform tests on a sample of life and property-liability insurers to test them. The sample consists of all U.S. life and property-liability insurers reporting to the NAIC. The authors investigate the decision to conduct derivatives transactions and the volume of transactions undertaken. There are two primary theories about the motivations for corporate risk management - maximization of shareholder value and maximization of managerial utility. The authors discuss these theories, the hypotheses they develop from them , and specify variables to test their hypotheses. They posit the following rationales for why corporations may choose to engage in risk management and also specify variables that help them study the use of these rationales by insurance firms: to avoid the costs of financial distress; to hedge part of their investment default/volatility/liquidity risks; to avoid shocks to equity that result in high leverage ratios; to minimize taxes and enhance firm value by reducing the volatility of earnings; to maximize managerial utility. The authors argue that the use of derivatives for speculative purposes in the insurance industry is not common. The authors analyze the decision by insurers to enter the market and their volume of transactions. They use probit analysis to study the participation decision and Tobit analysis along with Cragg's generalization of the Tobit analysis to study volume. The results provide support for the authors' hypothesis that insurers hedge to maximize shareholder value. The analysis provides only weak support for the managerial utility hypothesis. Insurers are motivated to use financial derivatives to reduce the expected costs of financial distress. There is also evidence that insurers use derivatives to hedge asset volatility and exchange rate risks. There is also evidence that there are significant economies of scale in running derivatives operations - only large firms and/or those with higher than average risk exposure find it worthwhile to pay the fixed cost of setting up a derivatives operation. Overall, insurers with higher than average asset risk exposures use derivative securities.
|Date of creation:||Jul 1998|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 3301 Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall, 3620 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104.6367|
Web page: http://fic.wharton.upenn.edu/fic/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- DeMarzo, Peter M & Duffie, Darrell, 1995. "Corporate Incentives for Hedging and Hedge Accounting," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 8(3), pages 743-71.
- Mayers, David & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1990. "On the Corporate Demand for Insurance: Evidence from the Reinsurance Market," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(1), pages 19-40, January.
- Smith, Clifford W. & Stulz, René M., 1985. "The Determinants of Firms' Hedging Policies," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(04), pages 391-405, December.
- Stulz, ReneM., 1990. "Managerial discretion and optimal financing policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 3-27, July.
- Cummins, J. David & Harrington, Scott E. & Klein, Robert, 1995.
"Insolvency experience, risk-based capital, and prompt corrective action in property-liability insurance,"
Journal of Banking & Finance,
Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 511-527, June.
- J. David Cummins & Scott E. Harrington & Robert Klein, 1995. "nsolvency Experience, Risk-Based Capital, and Prompt Corrective Action in Property-Liability Insurance," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 95-06, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
- René M. Stulz, 1996. "Rethinking Risk Management," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 9(3), pages 8-25.
- Brewer, Elijah, III & Jackson, William E, III & Moser, James T, 1996.
"Alligators in the Swamp: The Impact of Derivatives on the Financial Performance of Depository Institutions,"
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking,
Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(3), pages 482-97, August.
- Elijah Brewer & William E. Jackson & James T. Moser, 1996. "Alligators in the swamp: the impact of derivatives on the financial performance of depository institutions," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Aug, pages 482-501.
- Elijah Brewer, III & William E. Jackson, III & James T. Moser, 1996. "Alligators in the swamp: the impact of derivatives on the financial performance of depository institutions," Working Paper Series, Issues in Financial Regulation WP-96-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
- Mian, Shehzad L., 1996. "Evidence on Corporate Hedging Policy," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(03), pages 419-439, September.
- Gregor Andrade & Steven N. Kaplan, 1997.
"How Costly is Financial (not Economic) Distress? Evidence from Highly Leveraged Transactions that Became Distressed,"
NBER Working Papers
6145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gregor Andrade & Steven N. Kaplan, 1998. "How Costly is Financial (Not Economic) Distress? Evidence from Highly Leveraged Transactions that Became Distressed," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1443-1493, October.
- J. David Cummins & Richard D. Phillips & Stephen D. Smith, 1996.
"Corporate hedging in the insurance industry: the use of financial derivatives by U.S. insurers,"
FRB Atlanta Working Paper
96-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
- J. David Cummins & Richard Phillips & Stephen D. Smith, 1996. "Corporate Hedging in the Insurance Industry: The Use of Financial Derivatives by U.S. Insurers," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-26, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
- Elijah Brewer, III & Bernadette A. Minton & James T. Moser, 1996.
"Interest-rate derivatives and bank lending,"
Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues
WP-96-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- David F. Babbel & Anthony M. Santomero, 1997. "Risk Management by Insurers: An Analysis of the Process," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-16, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
- Catherine Schrand & Haluk Unal, 1998. "Hedging and Coordinated Risk Management: Evidence from Thrift Conversions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(3), pages 979-1013, 06.
- Tufano, Peter, 1996. " Who Manages Risk? An Empirical Examination of Risk Management Practices in the Gold Mining Industry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1097-1137, September.
- Jeffery W. Gunther & Thomas F. Seims, 1995. "The likelihood and extent of bank participation in derivatives activities," Financial Industry Studies Working Paper 95-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
- Cragg, John G, 1971. "Some Statistical Models for Limited Dependent Variables with Application to the Demand for Durable Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 829-44, September.
- Latha Shanker, 1996. "Derivatives usage and interest rate risk of large banking firms," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(4), pages 459-474, 06.
- 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 1629-58, December.
- Kenneth A. Froot & David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 1992. "Risk Management: Coordinating Corporate Investment and Financing Policies," NBER Working Papers 4084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- J. David Cummins & Mary A. Weiss, 1991. "The structure, conduct, and regulation of the property-liability insurance industry," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 35, pages 117-164.
- Venkatachalam, Mohan, 1996. "Value-relevance of banks' derivatives disclosures," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-3), pages 327-355, October.
- Cummins, J. David & Grace, Elizabeth, 1994. "Tax management and investment strategies of property-liability insurers," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 43-72, January.
- David Cummins, J. & Sommer, David W., 1996. "Capital and risk in property-liability insurance markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 1069-1092, July.
- Mayers, David & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1988. "Ownership Structure across Lines of Property-Casualty Insurance," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 351-78, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:98-19. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.