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Using a sample of 6,888 non-financial firms from 47 countries, the authors examine the effect of derivative use on firms' risk measures and value. They control for endogeneity by matching users and non-users on the basis of their propensity to hedge. They also use a new technique to estimate the effect of omitted variable bias on the inferences. They find strong evidence that the use of financial derivatives reduces both total risk and systematic risk. The effect of derivative use on firm value is positive but weak, and is more sensitive to endogeneity and omitted variable concerns. This increased sensitivity could account for the mixed evidence in the literature on the effect of hedging on firm value.
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