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Time-Varying Fund Manager Skill

  • Marcin Kacperczyk
  • Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh
  • Laura Veldkamp

Mutual fund managers can outperform the market by picking stocks or timing the market successfully. Previous work has estimated picking and timing skill, assuming that each manager is endowed with a fixed amount of each and found some evidence of picking skills and little evidence of timing skills among successful managers. This paper estimates skill separately in booms and recessions and finds that the extent to which managers focus on stock picking or market timing fluctuates with the state of the economy. Stock picking is more prevalent in booms, while market timing dominates in recessions. We use this finding to develop a new methodology for detecting managerial skill. The results suggest that some but not all managers have skill. We describe the characteristics of the skilled managers and show that skilled managers significantly outperform the market.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17615.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17615.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Publication status: published as Time-Varying Fund Manager Skill, (with Stijn van Nieuwerburgh and Laura Veldkamp), 2014, Journal of Finance 69, forthcoming.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17615
Note: AP CF
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Marcin Kacperczyk & Clemens Sialm & Lu Zheng, 2005. "On the Industry Concentration of Actively Managed Equity Mutual Funds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(4), pages 1983-2011, 08.
  2. Jennifer Huang & Clemens Sialm & Hanjiang Zhang, 2009. "Risk Shifting and Mutual Fund Performance," NBER Working Papers 14903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Marcelle Chauvet & Jeremy M. Piger, 2005. "A comparison of the real-time performance of business cycle dating methods," Working Papers 2005-021, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  4. Pastor, Lubos & Stambaugh, Robert F., 2002. "Investing in equity mutual funds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 351-380, March.
  5. Ferson, Wayne E & Schadt, Rudi W, 1996. " Measuring Fund Strategy and Performance in Changing Economic Conditions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(2), pages 425-61, June.
  6. Marcin Kacperczyk & Amit Seru, 2007. "Fund Manager Use of Public Information: New Evidence on Managerial Skills," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(2), pages 485-528, 04.
  7. Glode, Vincent, 2011. "Why mutual funds "underperform"," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 546-559, March.
  8. Marcin Kacperczyk & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Laura Veldkamp, 2009. "Rational Attention Allocation Over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 15450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  10. Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan, 1993. "Performance Measurement without Benchmarks: An Examination of Mutual Fund Returns," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66(1), pages 47-68, January.
  11. Wayne Ferson & Kenneth Khang, 2002. "Conditional Performance Measurement Using Portfolio Weights: Evidence for Pension Funds," NBER Working Papers 8790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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