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How Much Does Size Erode Mutual Fund Performance? A Regression Discontinuity Approach

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  • Jonathan Reuter
  • Eric Zitzewitz

Abstract

The level of diseconomies of scale in asset management has important implications for tests of manager skill and the expected level of performance persistence. To identify the causal impact of fund size on future returns, we exploit the fact that small differences in returns can cause discrete changes in Morningstar ratings that, in turn, generate discrete differences in size. Despite robust evidence that Morningstar ratings increase fund size, our regression discontinuity estimates yield little evidence that fund size erodes returns. Consequently, any downward bias in standard estimates of performance persistence due to diseconomies of scale is likely to be small.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Reuter & Eric Zitzewitz, 2010. "How Much Does Size Erode Mutual Fund Performance? A Regression Discontinuity Approach," NBER Working Papers 16329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16329
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
    2. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    3. Joseph Chen & Harrison Hong & Ming Huang & Jeffrey D. Kubik, 2004. "Does Fund Size Erode Mutual Fund Performance? The Role of Liquidity and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1276-1302, December.
    4. Guercio, Diane Del & Tkac, Paula A., 2008. "Star Power: The Effect of Monrningstar Ratings on Mutual Fund Flow," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(04), pages 907-936, December.
    5. Massa, Massimo & Reuter, Jonathan & Zitzewitz, Eric, 2010. "When should firms share credit with employees? Evidence from anonymously managed mutual funds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 400-424, March.
    6. Jonathan Reuter & Eric Zitzewitz, 2006. "Do Ads Influence Editors? Advertising and Bias in the Financial Media," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 197-227.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pástor, Ľuboš & Stambaugh, Robert F. & Taylor, Lucian A., 2015. "Scale and skill in active management," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 23-45.
    2. Wu, Youchang & Wermers, Russ & Zechner, Josef, 2012. "Governance and shareholder value in delegated portfolio management: The case of closed-end funds," CFR Working Papers 12-11, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    3. Galagedera, Don U.A. & Watson, John & Premachandra, I.M. & Chen, Yao, 2016. "Modeling leakage in two-stage DEA models: An application to US mutual fund families," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 62-77.
    4. Ariadna Dumitrescu & Javier Gil-Bazo, 2015. "Familiarity and competition: the case of mutual funds," Economics Working Papers 1474, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    5. Daniel Schmidt & Frank Schmielewski, 2012. "Consumer reaction on tumbling funds - Evidence from retail fund outflows during the financial crisis 2007/2008," Working Paper Series in Economics 228, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    6. Galán, Jorge & Ramos, Sofía B. & Veiga, Helena, 2015. "An analysis of the dynamics of efficiency of mutual funds," DES - Working Papers. Statistics and Econometrics. WS ws1517, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Estadística.
    7. Ariadna Dumitrescu & Javier Gil-Bazo, 2012. "Market Frictions, Investor Sophistication and Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," ESADE Working Papers 2013-1, ESADE Business School, Group for Research in Economics and Finance (GREF), revised Mar 2013.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage

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