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Measuring skill in the mutual fund industry

Author

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  • Berk, Jonathan B.
  • van Binsbergen, Jules H.

Abstract

Using the value that a mutual fund extracts from capital markets as the measure of skill, we find that the average mutual fund has used this skill to generate about $3.2 million per year. Large cross-sectional differences in skill persist for as long as ten years. Investors recognize this skill and reward it by investing more capital with better funds. Better funds earn higher aggregate fees, and a strong positive correlation exists between current compensation and future performance. The cross-sectional distribution of managerial skill is predominantly reflected in the cross-sectional distribution of fund size, not gross alpha.

Suggested Citation

  • Berk, Jonathan B. & van Binsbergen, Jules H., 2015. "Measuring skill in the mutual fund industry," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 1-20.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:118:y:2015:i:1:p:1-20
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2015.05.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mutual funds; Managerial skill; Alpha;

    JEL classification:

    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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