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The Small World of Investing: Board Connections and Mutual Fund Returns

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  • Lauren Cohen
  • Andrea Frazzini
  • Christopher Malloy

Abstract

This paper uses social networks to identify information transfer in security markets. We focus on connections between mutual fund managers and corporate board members via shared education networks. We find that portfolio managers place larger bets on connected firms and perform significantly better on these holdings relative to their nonconnected holdings. A replicating portfolio of connected stocks outperforms nonconnected stocks by up to 7.8 percent per year. Returns are concentrated around corporate news announcements, consistent with portfolio managers gaining an informational advantage through the education networks. Our results suggest that social networks may be important mechanisms for information flow into asset prices. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation

  • Lauren Cohen & Andrea Frazzini & Christopher Malloy, 2008. "The Small World of Investing: Board Connections and Mutual Fund Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(5), pages 951-979, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:116:y:2008:i:5:p:951-979
    DOI: 10.1086/592415
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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