The Theory and Practice of Corporate Risk Management: Evidence from the Field
56 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2018 Last revised: 3 Aug 2018
Date Written: March 13, 2018
We survey more than 1,100 risk managers from around the world on their risk management policies, goals, and perceptions. We find evidence consistent with some of the traditional theories of risk management, but not with all. We then analyze the reasons beyond “why” or “why not” firms hedge. We find that almost 90% of the risk managers in non-financial firms hedge to increase expected cash flows. We also find that 70%-80% of the risk managers say that they hedge to smooth earnings or to satisfy shareholders’ expectations. Our analysis also suggests that regulatory changes (e.g., Dodd-Frank Act of 2010) and new accounting rules put in place to increase market stability might discourage corporate hedging. Finally, we provide comprehensive evidence about hedging in the context of six forms of risk: interest rate, foreign exchange, commodity, energy, credit, and geopolitical risk. Among other things, we find that operational hedging is more common than hedging with financial contracts in all risk areas except foreign exchange.
Keywords: Corporate risk management, Expected cash flows, Risk aversion, Agency theory, Credit rationing, Information uncertainty, Financial distress, Dodd-Frank, Regulations, Operational/financial hedging methods
JEL Classification: G32, G38, M16, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation