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Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives

  • Chevalier, Judith
  • Ellison, Glenn

This paper examines a potential agency conflict between mutual fund investors and mutual fund companies. Investors would like the fund company to use its judgment to maximize risk-adjusted fund returns, the fund company has an incentive to increase the inflow of investments. The authors estimate the shape of the flow-performance relationship for a sample of growth and growth and income funds observed over the 1982-92 period. The shape creates incentives for fund managers to alter the riskiness of their portfolios. Examining portfolio holdings, the authors find that risk levels are changed toward the end of the year in a manner consistent with these incentives. Copyright 1997 by the University of Chicago.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 105 (1997)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 1167-1200

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:105:y:1997:i:6:p:1167-1200
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  1. William N. Goetzmann & Nadav Peles, 1997. "Cognitive Dissonance And Mutual Fund Investors," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 20(2), pages 145-158, 06.
  2. Ellison, G. & Ellison, F., 1993. "A Simple Framework for Non-Parametric Specification Testing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1662, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1987. "Tournaments and Piece Rates: An Experimental Study," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 1-33, February.
  4. Healy, Paul M., 1985. "The effect of bonus schemes on accounting decisions," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1-3), pages 85-107, April.
  5. Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan D, 1989. "Mutual Fund Performance: An Analysis of Quarterly Portfolio Holdings," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(3), pages 393-416, July.
  6. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Michael L. Bognanno, 1988. "Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?," NBER Working Papers 2638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Scharfstein, David. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1988. "Herd behavior and investment," Working papers WP 2062-88., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  8. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Michael L. Bognanno, 1990. "The incentive effects of tournaments revisited: Evidence from the European PGA tour," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 74-88, February.
  9. Mark Grinblatt & Sheridan Titman, . "Portfolio Performance Evaluation: Old Issues and New Insights," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 22-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  10. Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan, 1993. "Performance Measurement without Benchmarks: An Examination of Mutual Fund Returns," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66(1), pages 47-68, January.
  11. Borland, Jeff, 1992. " Career Concerns: Incentives and Endogenous Learning in Labour Markets," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 251-70.
  12. Ippolito, Richard A, 1992. "Consumer Reaction to Measures of Poor Quality: Evidence from the Mutual Fund Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 45-70, April.
  13. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-28, March.
  14. Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan & Wermers, Russ, 1995. "Momentum Investment Strategies, Portfolio Performance, and Herding: A Study of Mutual Fund Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1088-1105, December.
  15. Zwiebel, Jeffrey, 1995. "Corporate Conservatism and Relative Compensation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 1-25, February.
  16. Borenstein, Severin & Zimmerman, Martin B, 1988. "Market Incentives for Safe Commercial Airline Operation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 913-35, December.
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