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Fund Managers' Contracts and Financial Markets' Short-Termism

  • Casamatta, Catherine
  • Pouget, Sébastien

This paper considers the problem faced by long-term investors who have to delegate the management of their money to professional fund managers. Investors can earn profits if fund managers collect long-term information. We investigate to what extent the delegation of fund management prevents long-term information acquisition, inducing short-termism. We also study the design of long-term fund managers' compensation contracts. Absent moral hazard, short-termism arises only because of the cost of information acquisition. Under moral hazard, fund managers' compensation endogenously depends on short-term price efficiency (because of the need to smooth fund managers' consumption), thereby on subsequent fund managers' information acquisition decisions. The latter are less likely to be present on the market if information has already been acquired initially, giving rise to a feedback effect. The consequences are twofold: First, this increases short-termism. Second, short-term compensation for fund managers depends in a non-monotonic way on long-term information precision. We derive predictions regarding fund managers' contracts and financial markets efficiency.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 553.

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Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision: Feb 2011
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:9616
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  1. Dow, James & Gorton, Gary, 1994. " Arbitrage Chains," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(3), pages 819-49, July.
  2. Froot, Kenneth A & Scharftstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1992. " Herd on the Street: Informational Inefficiencies in a Market with Short-Term Speculation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1461-84, September.
  3. Paul Gompers & Joy Ishii & Andrew Metrick, 2003. "Corporate Governance And Equity Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 107-155, February.
  4. Lev, Baruch & Sougiannis, Theodore, 1996. "The capitalization, amortization, and value-relevance of R&D," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 107-138, February.
  5. Alexander Gümbel, 2005. "Trading on Short-Term Information," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 161(3), pages 428-, September.
  6. Holden, Craig W & Subrahmanyam, Avanidhar, 1996. "Risk Aversion, Liquidity, and Endogenous Short Horizons," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(2), pages 691-722.
  7. Edmans, Alex, 2011. "Does the stock market fully value intangibles? Employee satisfaction and equity prices," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 621-640, September.
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