This paper aims to provide a comprehensive empirical assessment of major contemporary corporate hedging theories, i.e. financial theory, agency theory, stakeholder theory and new institutional economics. Hypotheses regarding the determinants of hedging are tested on a sample of 150 companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The panel covers a period of five years (2001-2005). Unlike in previous research the tests are organised around theories rather than individual hypotheses. In addition to classic tests, CART analysis is used to verify hypotheses. The results show low empirical verification of all theories considered. However, the results support some single hypotheses. Tests identified currency exposure, market-to-book value, IT and service sectors and size as being determinants of hedging. The results provide evidence for the low usefulness of contemporary theories. New models are needed to explain hedging behaviour more accurately. This paper adds to risk management research by providing strong empirical evidence of theory verification status. It can serve as a base for future conceptual research.
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