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Rational Cross-Sectional Differences in Market Efficiency: Evidence from Mutual Fund Returns


  • Schultz, Paul


Markets should be inefficient enough to allow returns to security analysis to adequately compensate the marginal analyst for his efforts. Cross-sectional differences in the costs of analysis therefore imply cross-sectional differences in market efficiency and in before-cost returns to smart investors. Small growth stocks are difficult to analyze and costly to trade. I find that the abnormal returns of mutual fund investments in small growth stocks from 1980 to 2006 averaged 0.76% per month. Large value stocks are easier to analyze and cheaper to trade. Mutual funds earned average monthly abnormal returns of only 0.05% in large value stocks during the same period.

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  • Schultz, Paul, 2010. "Rational Cross-Sectional Differences in Market Efficiency: Evidence from Mutual Fund Returns," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(04), pages 847-881, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:45:y:2010:i:04:p:847-881_00

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    Cited by:

    1. Mason, Andrew & Agyei-Ampomah, Sam & Skinner, Frank, 2016. "Realism, skill, and incentives: Current and future trends in investment management and investment performance," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 31-40.
    2. Yang, Lisa (Zongfei) & Goh, Jeremy & Chiyachantana, Chiraphol, 2016. "Valuation uncertainty, market sentiment and the informativeness of institutional trades," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 81-98.
    3. Agyei-Ampomah, Sam & Clare, Andrew & Mason, Andrew & Thomas, Stephen, 2015. "On luck versus skill when performance benchmarks are style-consistent," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 127-145.

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