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Multinational firm, exchange rate risk and the impact of regret on trade

Listed author(s):
  • Broll, Udo
  • Welzel, Peter
  • Wong, Kit Pong

This paper examines the behavior of the regret-averse multinational firm under exchange rate uncertainty. The multinational firm simultaneously sells in the home market and exports to a foreign country. We characterize the multinational firm's regret-averse preferences by a modified utility function that includes disutility from having chosen ex-post suboptimal alternatives. The extent of regret depends on the difference between the actual home currency profit and the maximum home currency profit attained by making the optimal production and export decisions had the multinational firm observed the true realization of the random spot exchange rate. We show that the conventional results that the multinational firm optimally produces less, sells more domestically, and export less abroad under uncertainty than under certainty holds if the multinational firm is not too regret averse. Using a simple binary model wherein the random spot exchange rate can take on either a low value or a high value with positive probability, we show that the multinational firm may optimally produce more, sell less domestically, and export more abroad under uncertainty than under certainty, particularly when the multinational firm is sufficiently regret averse and the low spot exchange rate is very likely to prevail.This note examines the behavior of a competitive firm that faces joint price and inflation risk. Given that the price risk is negatively correlated with the inflation risk in the sense of expectation dependence, the firm optimally opts for an overhedge if the firm's coefficient of relative risk aversion is everywhere no greater than unity. Furthermore, banning the firm from forward trading may induce the firm to produce more or less, depending on whether the price risk premium is positive or negative, respectively. While the price risk premium is unambiguously negative in the absence of the inflation risk, it is not the case when the inflation risk prevails. In contrast to the conventional wisdom, forward hedging needs not always promote production should firms take in inflation seriously.

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Paper provided by Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics in its series Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics with number 04/14.

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Date of creation: 2014
Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuddps:0414
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  1. Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1993. "Testing for Juxtaposition and Event-Splitting Effects," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 235-254, June.
  2. Engel, Charles & Rogers, John H, 1996. "How Wide Is the Border?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1112-1125, December.
  3. David E. Bell, 1983. "Risk Premiums for Decision Regret," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(10), pages 1156-1166, October.
  4. Wong, Kit Pong, 2011. "Regret theory and the banking firm: The optimal bank interest margin," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 2483-2487.
  5. Broll, Udo & Zilcha, Itzhak, 1992. "Exchange rate uncertainty, futures markets and the multinational firm," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 815-826, May.
  6. Engel, Charles & Rogers, John H, 2001. "Violating the Law of One Price: Should We Make a Federal Case Out of It?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(1), pages 1-15, February.
  7. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1982. "Regret Theory: An Alternative Theory of Rational Choice under Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 805-824, December.
  8. David C. Parsley & Shang-Jin Wei, 1996. "Convergence to the Law of One Price Without Trade Barriers or Currency Fluctuations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1211-1236.
  9. Lien, Donald & Wong, Kit Pong, 2005. "Multinationals and futures hedging under liquidity constraints," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 210-220, December.
  10. Sugden Robert, 1993. "An Axiomatic Foundation for Regret Theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 159-180, June.
  11. Quiggin, John, 1994. "Regret Theory with General Choice Sets," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 153-165, March.
  12. Meng, Rujing & Wong, Kit Pong, 2007. "Currency hedging for multinationals under liquidity constraints," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 417-431, December.
  13. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1987. "Testing for Regret and Disappointment in Choice under Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388a), pages 118-129, Supplemen.
  14. Loomes, Graham & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1992. "Are Preferences Monotonic? Testing Some Predictions of Regret Theory," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 59(233), pages 17-33, February.
  15. Loomes, Graham, 1988. "Further Evidence of the Impact of Regret and Disappointment in Choice under Uncertainty," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 55(217), pages 47-62, February.
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