Distribution fees and mutual fund flows: Evidence from a natural experiment in the Indian mutual funds market
AbstractMutual fund companies typically charge investors distribution fees, such as 12b-1 fees in the United States, which they then use to pay commissions to brokers. We evaluate a major Indian investor protection reform that limited the ability of mutual funds to charge distribution fees to pay broker commissions. We identify the impact of this policy change by comparing funds charging high distribution fees prior to the reform to those charging low distribution fees; we show that trends in asset growth across these groups prior to the reform were similar, and argue that a comparison of their asset growth after the reform is indicative of the policy impact. Contrary to industry claims that banning distribution fees would dramatically reduce investment in mutual funds, we find no evidence that the post-reform asset growth was lower for funds charging higher distribution fees prior to the reform. We primarily find that asset growth in funds with previously high distribution fees was higher after the policy change. At the aggregate level, our results suggest that Indian mutual fund growth in the post-policy period was lower for reasons independent of this policy change, such as a general move away from mutual funds towards real assets such as gold and real estate following the 2008 financial crisis.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India in its series Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers with number 2013-004.
Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
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regulation; commission ban;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
- G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-04-20 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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