IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

When cheaper is better: fee determination in the market for equity mutual funds

  • Ruiz-Verdú, Pablo
  • Gil-Bazo, Javier

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

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

in new window

Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cte:wbrepe:wb054309
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Laibson, David I. & Gabaix, Xavier, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," Scholarly Articles 4554333, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Steven Salop & Joseph Stiglitz, 1977. "Bargains and Ripoffs: A Model of Monopolistically Competitive Price Dispersion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 493-510.
  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. 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.
  7. Bagwell, Kyle & Riordan, Michael H, 1991. "High and Declining Prices Signal Product Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 224-39, March.
  8. 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.
  9. Ali Hortaçsu & 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 403-456.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.).
  14. Palomino, Frédéric & Prat, Andrea, 1999. "Risk Taking and Optimal Contracts for Money Managers," CEPR Discussion Papers 2066, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Roger Otten & Dennis Bams, 2002. "European Mutual Fund Performance," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 8(1), pages 75-101.
  16. 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.
  17. Claude Fluet & Paolo G. Garella, 1999. "Advertising and Prices as Signals of Quality in a Regime of Price Rivalry," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 9903, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
  18. 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.
  19. Bhattacharya, Sudipto & Pfleiderer, Paul, 1985. "Delegated portfolio management," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 1-25, June.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan, 1992. " The Persistence of Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(5), pages 1977-84, December.
  23. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
  24. 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.
  25. Paul G. Mahoney, 2004. "Manager-Investor Conflicts in Mutual Funds," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 161-182, Spring.
  26. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition Through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13.
  27. 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.
  28. Bagwell, Kyle, 2007. "The Economic Analysis of Advertising," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cte:wbrepe:wb054309. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ana Poveda)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.