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When Cheaper Is Better: Fee Determination In The Market For Equity Mutual Funds

  • Javier Gil-Bazo

    ()

  • Pablo Ruiz-Verdu

    ()

In this paper, we develop a model of the market for equity mutual funds that captures three key characteristics of this market. First, there is competition among funds. Second, fund managers' ability is not observed by investors before making their investment decisions. And third, some investors do not make optimal use of all available information. The main results of the paper are that 1) price competition is compatible with positive mark-ups in equilibrium; and 2) worse-performing funds set fees that are greater or equal than those set by better-performing funds. These predictions are supported by available empirical evidence.

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía de la Empresa in its series Business Economics Working Papers with number wb054309.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cte:wbrepe:wb054309
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  1. Andrew Metrick & Richard Zeckhauser, 1996. "Price Versus Quanitity: Market Cleaning Mechanisms When Sellers Differ in Quality," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1775, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Jonathan B. Berk & Richard C. Green, 2002. "Mutual Fund Flows and Performance in Rational Markets," NBER Working Papers 9275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Palomino, Frederic & Prat, Andrea, 2003. " Risk Taking and Optimal Contracts for Money Managers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(1), pages 113-37, Spring.
  4. Mark N. Hertzendorf & Per Baltzer Overgaard, 2001. "Price Competition and Advertising Signals: Signaling by Competing Senders," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 621-662, December.
  5. Susan E. K. Christoffersen & David K. Musto, 2002. "Demand Curves and the Pricing of Money Management," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(5), pages 1499-1524.
  6. Caves, Richard E. & Greene, David P., 1996. "Brands' quality levels, prices, and advertising outlays: empirical evidence on signals and information costs," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 29-52.
  7. Harless, David W. & Peterson, Steven P., 1998. "Investor behavior and the persistence of poorly-performing mutual funds," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 257-276, November.
  8. Elton, Edwin J, et al, 1993. "Efficiency with Costly Information: A Reinterpretation of Evidence from Managed Portfolios," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(1), pages 1-22.
  9. Paul G. Mahoney, 2004. "Manager-Investor Conflicts in Mutual Funds," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 161-182, Spring.
  10. Bhattacharya, Sudipto & Pfleiderer, Paul, 1985. "Delegated portfolio management," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 1-25, June.
  11. Judith Chevalier & Glenn Ellison, 1999. "Are Some Mutual Fund Managers Better Than Others? Cross-Sectional Patterns in Behavior and Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 875-899, 06.
  12. Kyle Bagwell & Michael Riordan, 1988. "High and Declining Prices Signal Product Quality," Discussion Papers 808, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  13. Roger Otten & Dennis Bams, 2002. "European Mutual Fund Performance," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 8(1), pages 75-101.
  14. Nanda, Vikram & Narayanan, M. P. & Warther, Vincent A., 2000. "Liquidity, investment ability, and mutual fund structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 417-443, September.
  15. Alexander, Gordon J. & Jones, Jonathan D. & Nigro, Peter J., 1998. "Mutual fund shareholders: characteristics, investor knowledge, and sources of information," Financial Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 301-316.
  16. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
  17. Fluet, Claude & Garella, Paolo G., 2002. "Advertising and prices as signals of quality in a regime of price rivalry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(7), pages 907-930, September.
  18. Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan, 1992. " The Persistence of Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(5), pages 1977-84, December.
  19. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
  20. Bagwell, Kyle, 2007. "The Economic Analysis of Advertising," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  21. Laibson, David I. & Gabaix, Xavier, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," Scholarly Articles 4554333, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  22. Steven Salop & Joseph Stiglitz, 1977. "Bargains and ripoffs: a model of monopolistically competitive price dispersion," Special Studies Papers 94, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  23. repec:dgr:kubcen:1998108 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Ali Hortaç Su & Chad Syverson, 2004. "Product Differentiation, Search Costs, And Competition in the Mutual Fund Industry: A Case Study of S&P 500 Index Funds," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 403-456, May.
  25. Russ Wermers, 2000. "Mutual Fund Performance: An Empirical Decomposition into Stock-Picking Talent, Style, Transactions Costs, and Expenses," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1655-1703, 08.
  26. Bechmann, Ken L. & Rangvid, Jesper, 2007. "Rating mutual funds: Construction and information content of an investor-cost based rating of Danish mutual funds," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 662-693, December.
  27. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean & Lu Zheng, 2005. "Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The Effects of Expenses on Mutual Fund Flows," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(6), pages 2095-2120, November.
  28. Nicolas P. B. Bollen, 2005. "Short-Term Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(2), pages 569-597.
  29. Sanjiv Ranjan Das & Rangarajan K. Sundaram, 2002. "Fee Speech: Signaling, Risk-Sharing, and the Impact of Fee Structures on Investor Welfare," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(5), pages 1465-1497.
  30. Ronald T. Wilcox, 2003. "Bargain Hunting or Star Gazing? Investors' Preferences for Stock Mutual Funds," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76(4), pages 645-664, October.
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