Essays on corporate risk management
Zhu, Rui, 1980-
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This dissertation addresses issues in corporate risk management. Part I examines the determinants for corporate decisions to commodity hedge and to the extent of hedging. Chapter 1 discusses prior literature, including theory and empirical evidence on corporate risk management. It provides the background to support the empirical analyses of Chapters 2, 3 and 4. Chapter 2 examines corporate decisions to commodity hedge. I find that firms are more likely to hedge when they are big, have risk management department set up and have more of their competitors hedge. Chapter 3 investigates what determines the extent of hedging conditional on hedging decisions and the cross-sectional and time series deviation of the hedge ratio. I find that firms tend to hedge less when they have younger CEOs and have more options in their compensation plan. I also find that when determining the hedge ratio, firms with young CEOs and higher option compensation tend to respond to past commodity price growth and to deviate from industry average. Part II investigates the relationship between corporate risk management and product market competition. Chapter 4 examines the different product market performance for firms with different hedging polices after commodity price shocks. I find that unhedged firms which are ex ante financially constrained lose market share and experience a decreased profitability during and after commodity price shocks. Chapter 5 examines whether the loss of unhedged constrained firms in product market is driven by the competitors. I find that firms with financial advantages—unconstrained hedged firms—tend to increase advertising expenditures and decrease price-cost-margins during negative commodity shocks, indicating that the market share loss of constrained unhedged firms is due to increased competition in the product market. Chapter 6 examines whether corporate risk management affects the likelihood of firms exiting the market. I find that constrained unhedged firms are 6% more likely to exit the market than their unconstrained hedged rivals and the effects are stronger in concentrated industries and industries with higher leverage dispersion.