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Allocation of decision rights and the investment strategy of mutual funds

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  • Dass, Nishant
  • Nanda, Vikram
  • Wang, Qinghai

Abstract

The literature suggests that while decentralized decision making can allow for greater specialization in an organization, it heightens the cost of coordinating decisions. The mutual fund industry—in particular, sole- and team-managed balanced funds—provides an ideal setting to test the specialization versus coordination trade-off, as information on decision structures and fund actions is easily obtained. We show that sole-managed balanced funds, with centralized decision rights, exhibit significant market timing that requires reallocation across asset classes. However, consistent with coordination difficulties between managers specializing in particular asset classes, no market timing is evident in team-managed balanced funds. Team-managed funds exhibit greater returns from specialization, in the form of better security selection performance than sole-managed funds. These results hold cross-sectionally and for funds that switch management structures. The overall returns across different management structures are similar, indicating a market equilibrium. Investor flows reward market-timing performance for sole- but not team-managed funds.

Suggested Citation

  • Dass, Nishant & Nanda, Vikram & Wang, Qinghai, 2013. "Allocation of decision rights and the investment strategy of mutual funds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(1), pages 254-277.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:110:y:2013:i:1:p:254-277
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2013.06.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ayadi, Mohamed A. & Chaibi, Anis & Kryzanowski, Lawrence, 2016. "Performance of Canadian hybrid mutual funds," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 124-147.
    2. Mamatzakis, Emmanuel & Xu, Bingrun, 2016. "Managerial attributes and equity mutual fund performance: evidence from china," MPRA Paper 76139, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Teams; Coordination costs; Decision rights; Performance; Mutual funds;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production

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