Are mutual fund fees excessive?
There is a long running debate over whether competition in the mutual fund industry limits the ability of investment advisors to charge fees that are disproportionate to the services they provide. We posit that disproportionately high fees are prevalent in funds with multiple share classes and those with weak governance structures. Using a comprehensive sample of index mutual funds for the from 1998 to 2007, we find that internal governance mechanisms matter primarily for funds with relatively small share classes where investors often face increased search costs and/or restricted access to competitive mutual funds. Additionally, we find that funds managed by publicly held sponsors are associated with disproportionately higher fee spreads (about 28 basis points). The results are robust to the inclusion of board characteristics, share class structure, and investment objectives. Overall, our findings suggest that competition and agency considerations are important determinants in the pricing of mutual funds.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Ali Hortaçsu & Chad Syverson, 2004. "Product Differentiation, Search Costs, and Competition in the Mutual Fund Industry: A Case Study of S&P 500 Index Funds," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 403-456.
- Chevalier, J. & Ellison, G., 1996.
"Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives,"
96-3, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Chevalier, Judith & Ellison, Glenn, 1997. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1167-1200, December.
- Judith A. Chevalier & Glenn D. Ellison, 1995. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," NBER Working Papers 5234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2006.
"Why Does the Law of One Price Fail? An Experiment on Index Mutual Funds,"
NBER Working Papers
12261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2010. "Why Does the Law of One Price Fail? An Experiment on Index Mutual Funds," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(4), pages 1405-1432, April.
- Choi, James & Madrian, Brigitte & Laibson, David I., 2010. "Why Does the Law of One Price Fail? An Experiment on Index Mutual Funds," Scholarly Articles 4686775, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- James J Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C Madrian, 2008. "Why Does the Law of One Price Fail? An Experiment on Index Mutual Funds," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000002014, David K. Levine.
- James Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte Madrian, 2008. "Why Does the Law of One Price Fail? An Experiment on Index Mutual Funds," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2369, Yale School of Management, revised 05 May 2008.
- John C. Adams & Sattar A. Mansi & Takeshi Nishikawa, 2010. "Internal Governance Mechanisms and Operational Performance: Evidence from Index Mutual Funds," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(3), pages 1261-1286, March.
- Kosowski, Robert & Timmermann, Allan & Wermers, Russ & White, Hal, 2005.
"Can mutual fund stars really pick stocks? New evidence from a bootstrap analysis,"
CFR Working Papers
05-14, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
- Robert Kosowski & Allan Timmermann & Russ Wermers & Hal White, 2006. "Can Mutual Fund "Stars" Really Pick Stocks? New Evidence from a Bootstrap Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(6), pages 2551-2595, December.
- 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.
- Daniel Bergstresser & John M. R. Chalmers & Peter Tufano, 2009. "Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Brokers in the Mutual Fund Industry," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(10), pages 4129-4156, October.
- Ferris, Stephen P. & Yan, Xuemin (Sterling), 2009. "Agency costs, governance, and organizational forms: Evidence from the mutual fund industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 619-626, April.
- Boldin, Michael & Cici, Gjergji, 2010. "The index fund rationality paradox," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 33-43, January.
- Ajay Khorana & Henri Servaes, 2011. "What Drives Market Share in the Mutual Fund Industry?," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 81-113.
- Anderson, Ronald C. & Mansi, Sattar A. & Reeb, David M., 2003. "Founding family ownership and the agency cost of debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 263-285, May.
- Nanda, Vikram K. & Wang, Z. Jay & Zheng, Lu, 2009. "The ABCs of mutual funds: On the introduction of multiple share classes," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 329-361, July.
- Camelia M. Kuhnen, 2009. "Business Networks, Corporate Governance, and Contracting in the Mutual Fund Industry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(5), pages 2185-2220, October.
- Iannotta, Giuliano & Navone, Marco, 2012. "The cross-section of mutual fund fee dispersion," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 846-856.
- Ivkovic, Zoran & Weisbenner, Scott, 2009. "Individual investor mutual fund flows," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 223-237, May.
- Alexander, Gordon J. & Jones, Jonathan D. & Nigro, Peter J., 1998. "Mutual fund shareholders: characteristics, investor knowledge, and sources of information," Financial Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 301-316.
- Del Guercio, Diane & Dann, Larry Y. & Partch, M. Megan, 2003. "Governance and boards of directors in closed-end investment companies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 111-152, July.
- Khorana, Ajay & Servaes, Henri, 1999. "The Determinants of Mutual Fund Starts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(5), pages 1043-74.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:36:y:2012:i:8:p:2245-2259. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.