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Market Frictions, Investor Sophistication and Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance

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Author Info

  • Ariadna Dumitrescu

    ()
    (Group for Research in Economics and Finance (GREF), ESADE Business School)

  • Javier Gil-Bazo

    ()
    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona Graduate School of Economics)

Abstract

If there are diseconomies of scale in asset management, any predictability in mutual fund performance will be arbitraged away by rational investors seeking funds with the highest expected performance (Berk and Green, 2004). In contrast, the performance of US equity mutual funds persists through time. In this paper, we investigate whether market frictions can reconcile the assumptions of investor rationality and diseconomies of scale with the empirical evidence. More specifically, we extend the model of Berk and Green (2004) to account for financial constraints and heterogeneity in investors' reservation returns reflecting the idea that less financially sophisticated investors face higher search costs. In our model, both negative and positive expected fund performance are possible in equilibrium. Moreover, expected fund performance increases with expected managerial ability, which can explain the evidence on performance persistence. The model also implies that performance persistence increases with fund visibility, as fund visibility increases the proportion of unsophisticated investors in the fund. Consistently with this prediction, we report empirical evidence for the US equity fund market that diferences in performance are significantly less persistent among hard-to-find funds than otherwise similar funds.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ESADE Business School, Group for Research in Economics and Finance (GREF) in its series ESADE Working Papers with number 2013-1.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision: Mar 2013
Handle: RePEc:esd:wpaper:2013-1

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Keywords: mutual fund performance persistence; market frictions; investor sophistication;

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References

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  1. Vikram Nanda, 2004. "Family Values and the Star Phenomenon: Strategies of Mutual Fund Families," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(3), pages 667-698.
  2. Javier Gil-Bazo & Pablo Ruiz-Verd�, 2009. "The Relation between Price and Performance in the Mutual Fund Industry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(5), pages 2153-2183, October.
  3. Gil-Bazo, Javier & Ruiz-Verdú, Pablo, 2008. "When cheaper is better: Fee determination in the market for equity mutual funds," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 871-885, September.
  4. Jonathan B. Berk & Ian Tonks, 2007. "Return Persistence and Fund Flows in the Worst Performing Mutual Funds," NBER Working Papers 13042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Joseph Chen & Harrison Hong & Ming Huang & Jeffrey D. Kubik, 2004. "Does Fund Size Erode Mutual Fund Performance? The Role of Liquidity and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1276-1302, December.
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  7. Hendricks, Darryll & Patel, Jayendu & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1993. " Hot Hands in Mutual Funds: Short-Run Persistence of Relative Performance, 1974-1988," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(1), pages 93-130, March.
  8. Bessler, Wolfgang & Blake, David & Lückoff, Peter & Tonks, Ian, 2010. "Why does mutual fund performance not persist? The impact and interaction of fund flows and manager changes," MPRA Paper 34185, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Susan E. K. Christoffersen, 2001. "Why Do Money Fund Managers Voluntarily Waive Their Fees?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(3), pages 1117-1140, 06.
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  11. Guercio, Diane Del & Tkac, Paula A., 2002. "The Determinants of the Flow of Funds of Managed Portfolios: Mutual Funds vs. Pension Funds," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 37(04), pages 523-557, December.
  12. Navone, Marco, 2012. "Reprint of Investors’ distraction and strategic repricing decisions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 2729-2741.
  13. Susan E. K. Christoffersen & David K. Musto, 2002. "Demand Curves and the Pricing of Money Management," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(5), pages 1499-1524.
  14. Jeffrey A. Busse & Amit Goyal & Sunil Wahal, 2010. "Performance and Persistence in Institutional Investment Management," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(2), pages 765-790, 04.
  15. Navone, Marco, 2012. "Investors’ distraction and strategic repricing decisions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1291-1303.
  16. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
  17. Jonathan Reuter & Eric Zitzewitz, 2010. "How Much Does Size Erode Mutual Fund Performance? A Regression Discontinuity Approach," NBER Working Papers 16329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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