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Tax Externalities of Equity Mutual Funds

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  • John B. Shoven
  • Joel Dickson
  • Clemens Sialm

Abstract

Investors holding mutual funds in taxable accounts face a classic externality. The after-tax return of their investment depends on the behavior of others. In particular, redemptions may force the mutual fund to sell some of its equity positions in order to pay off the liquidating investors. As a result, it may be forced to distribute taxable capital gains to its shareholders. On the other hand, new investors convey a positive externality upon existing investors by diluting the unrealized capital gain position of the fund. This paper's simulations show that these externalities are important determinants of the after-tax performance of equity mutual funds.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7669.

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Date of creation: Apr 2000
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Publication status: published as Dickson, Joel, John Shoven, and Clemens Sialm. “Tax Externalities of Equity Mutual Funds.” National Tax Journal 53 (3/2) (2000): 607-628.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7669

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  1. Bergstresser, Daniel & Poterba, James, 2002. "Do after-tax returns affect mutual fund inflows?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 381-414, March.
  2. James M. Poterba & Andrew A. Samwick, 1995. "Stock Ownership Patterns, Stock Market Fluctuations, and Consumption," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 295-372.
  3. Barclay, Michael J. & Pearson, Neil D. & Weisbach, Michael S., 1998. "Open-end mutual funds and capital-gains taxes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 3-43, July.
  4. Joel M. Dickson & John B. Shoven, 1994. "A Stock Index Mutual Fund Without Net Capital Gains Realizations," NBER Working Papers 4717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Erik R. Sirri & Peter Tufano, 1998. "Costly Search and Mutual Fund Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1589-1622, October.
  6. Joel M. Dickson & John B. Shoven, 1995. "Taxation and Mutual Funds: An Investor Perspective," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 9, pages 151-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
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Cited by:
  1. James M. Poterba & John B. Shoven, 2002. "Exchange Traded Funds: A New Investment Option for Taxable Investors," NBER Working Papers 8781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fong, Kingsley Y.L. & Gallagher, David R. & Lau, Sarah S.W. & Swan, Peter L., 2009. "Do active fund managers care about capital gains tax efficiency?," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 257-270, April.
  3. Rydqvist, Kristian & Spizman, Joshua & Strebulaev, Ilya, 2014. "Government policy and ownership of equity securities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 70-85.
  4. James M. Poterba & John B. Shoven & Clemens Sialm, 2000. "Asset Location for Retirement Savers," NBER Working Papers 7991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Shoven, John B. & Sialm, Clemens, 2004. "Asset location in tax-deferred and conventional savings accounts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 23-38, January.
  6. Marcin Kacperczyk & Clemens Sialm & Lu Zheng, 2005. "Unobserved Actions of Mutual Funds," NBER Working Papers 11766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Clemens Sialm & Laura Starks & Hanjiang Zhang, 2014. "Defined Contribution Pension Plans: Sticky or Discerning Money?," Discussion Papers 13-022, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  8. Chen, Qi & Goldstein, Itay & Jiang, Wei, 2010. "Payoff complementarities and financial fragility: Evidence from mutual fund outflows," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 239-262, August.
  9. Greene, Jason T. & Hodges, Charles W. & Rakowski, David A., 2007. "Daily mutual fund flows and redemption policies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 3822-3842, December.
  10. Dubofsky, David A., 2010. "Mutual fund portfolio trading and investor flow," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 802-812, April.
  11. Woodrow T. Johnson & James M. Poterba, 2008. "Taxes and Mutual Fund Inflows Around Distribution Dates," NBER Working Papers 13884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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