JED, Vol. 20, No.1, April 2018, pp. 5-31
Linking Country Governance Quality and Derivatives Use: Insights from Firms’ Hedging Behavior in East Asia
Abstract:This paper examines the link between countries’ governance quality and firms’ use of derivatives
using a novel hand-collected dataset. Our panel data includes 881 non-financial firms across eight
East Asian countries. We found that better country governance induces firms to use derivatives to
hedge exposure and mitigate costs. Firms in countries with weak governance use derivatives for
speculative and/or selective hedging or self-management purposes. Overall, our findings provide
strong evidence of the role of countries’ governance quality in driving firms’ derivatives-related
behaviors. This macro-based effect on derivatives use is independent of firm-specific factors,
which are frequently invoked by hedging theories.
Keywords:Hedging; derivatives use; country governance quality; country-specific characteristics; firm behavior.