Does Economic Policy Uncertainty Influence Executive Risk-Taking Incentives?
20 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2019
Date Written: November 25, 2019
We explore the effect of economic policy uncertainty (EPU) on managerial risk-taking incentives. Our analysis shows that EPU leads to more powerful risk-taking incentives. A rise in EPU by one standard deviation raises vega by 18.88%. Economic uncertainty, coupled with their own inherent risk aversion, motivates managers to be extra cautious during uncertain times, resulting in sub-optimal risk-taking. To offset this tendency for too little risk, firms provide more powerful risk-taking incentives to induce managers to be more aggressive. Further analysis confirms the results, including an instrumental-variable analysis, random-effects analysis, propensity score matching, and using two alternative measures of uncertainty.
Keywords: economic policy uncertainty, managerial risk-taking, risk-taking incentives, instrumental variable
JEL Classification: E66, D22, M22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation