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Mutual Funds and Bubbles: The Surprising Role of Contractual Incentives

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  • Nishant Dass
  • Massimo Massa
  • Rajdeep Patgiri

Abstract

This article studies one of the potential causes of the financial market bubble of the late 1990s: the herding behavior of mutual funds. We show that the incentives contained in the mutual funds' advisory contracts induce managers to overcome their tendency to herd. We argue that investing in bubble stocks amounts to herding and contracts with high incentives induce managers to diverge from the herd, thus reducing their holding of bubble stocks. The differential exposure to bubble stocks significantly impacted the funds' performance both in the period prior to March 2000, as well as afterwards. The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Nishant Dass & Massimo Massa & Rajdeep Patgiri, 2008. "Mutual Funds and Bubbles: The Surprising Role of Contractual Incentives," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 51-99, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:21:y:2008:i:1:p:51-99
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/rfs/hhm033
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