Foreign Exchange Exposure of Exporting and Importing Firms
23 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2003
Date Written: June 2003
The existing literature reports insignificant 'total' exposure for multinational or exporting firms, where total exposure incorporates both firm specific and macroeconomic effects. We propose a dual-effect hypothesis to explain this result which seemingly contradicts conventional wisdom. According to our proposed hypothesis, firms are affected by both the domestic economy and foreign markets. These effects are at least partially offsetting for exporters and additive for importers. The resulting predictions of insignificant total exposure for exporters and positive total exposure for importers are borne out in our tests. The literature also reports insignificant 'residual' exposure for multinationals or exporting firms, where residual exposure estimates the firm-specific exposure. This result is explained by biases in the residual exposure estimates introduced by the choice of the value-weighted market index as the control portfolio. We propose an equally weighted portfolio of purely domestic firms as an alternative portfolio to reduce such biases and report significantly negative exposure for exporters and significantly positive exposure for importers, as predicted by theory.
Keywords: Currency risk, Multinationals, Hedging, exchange rates, stock prices
JEL Classification: F23, F31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation