Operational Currency Exposure and Firm Level Performance: Evidence from India
A chapter in Macroeconomic Analysis and International Finance, 2014, vol. 23, pp 59-84 from Emerald Publishing Ltd
Abstract Purpose To study the determinants and effects of “Operational” exchange rate exposure resulting from the mismatch between cost and revenues of the firms by using data on 500 Indian firms. Design/methodology/approach We conduct detailed empirical analysis of the determinants of firm level exposure and their impact using panel regression techniques and conduct several robustness tests to confirm the validity of these results. Findings Among other factors, exchange rate volatility appears as a significant determinant of average firm level exposure with the direction of relationship supporting the presence of “Moral Hazard” in firm’s risk-taking behavior. Further large “operational” exposure is associated with significantly lower output growth, profitability, and capital expenditure during episodes of large currency depreciation at the firm level. Research limitations/implications This paper leaves several questions to be answered. Further research is called for to explore the nature of distortions in the production process encouraged by exchange rate volatility and their impact on firm level productivity. Looking at the relationship between the use of financial and operational hedges is another fruitful area of future research. Practical implications Our results have important implications for policy makers worried about mitigating the impact of exogenous shocks. Implicit and explicit guarantees with regards to the value of exchange rate tend to raise the vulnerability of the economy to exchange rate shocks at same time that they encourage capital expenditures and possibly output growth during “normal” times. Our findings indicate that the policy makers must take into account the incentive effects of their intervention in foreign exchange markets. Originality/value Unlike the existing papers in the literature, we use a measure of “operational” currency exposure based on foreign currency revenues and costs of firms. In most of the existing papers the focus is on the mismatch between the currency denomination of assets and liabilities. Little attention has been paid to the currency mismatch between costs and revenues of the firms. Such “operational” mismatches are potentially equally important and deserve attention of policy makers and academics alike.
Keywords: Operational currency exposure; moral hazard; exchange rate volatility; F30; F31; F43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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