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Time-varying incentives in the mutual fund industry


  • Olivier, Jacque


  • Tay, Anthony



In this paper, the authors provide evidence that the convexity of the flow-performance relationship in the mutual fund industry varies with economic activity. This effect is strongly economically significant: a +/-1% change in GDP growth doubles/eliminates the degree of convexity of the flow-performance relationship. The effect of economic activity dominates that of market conditions and can be rationalized by the behavior of investors who smooth consumption while displaying a disposition effect. Our finding has two major implications: first, it rationalizes the risk-shifting behavior of mutual fund managers and provides support for the seminal flow-based tournament hypothesis over the more recent "career concern" explanation. Second, it explains why mutual fund performance varies with the business cycle.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier, Jacque & Tay, Anthony, 2009. "Time-varying incentives in the mutual fund industry," Les Cahiers de Recherche 925, HEC Paris.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebg:heccah:0925

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    Cited by:

    1. Jun, Xiao & Li, Mingsheng & Shi, Jing, 2014. "Volatile market condition and investor clientele effects on mutual fund flow performance relationship," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 310-334.
    2. Hobbs, Jeffrey & Singh, Vivek, 2015. "A comparison of buy-side and sell-side analysts," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 42-51.

    More about this item


    Mutual funds; Incentives; Economic activity; Risk-shifting; Performance;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors

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