IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/8653.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Copycat Funds: Information Disclosure Regulation and the Returns to Active Management in the Mutual Fund Industry

Author

Listed:
  • Mary Margaret Myers
  • James M. Poterba
  • Douglas A. Shackelford

Abstract

Mutual funds must disclose their portfolio holdings to investors semiannually. The costs and benefits of such disclosures are a long-standing subject of debate. For actively managed funds, one cost of disclosure is a potential reduction in the private benefits from research on asset values. Disclosure provides public access to information on the assets that the fund manager views as undervalued. This paper tries to quantify this potential cost of disclosure by testing whether 'copycat' mutual funds, funds that purchase the same assets as actively-managed funds as soon as those asset holdings are disclosed, can earn returns that are similar to those of the actively-managed funds. Copycat funds do not incur the research expenses associated with the actively-managed funds that they are mimicking opportunity to invest in assets that managers identify as positive return opportunities between disclosure dates. Our results for a limited sample of high expense funds in the 1990s suggest that while returns before expenses are significantly higher for the underlying actively managed funds relative to the copycat funds, after expenses copycat funds earn statistically indistinguishable, and possibly higher, returns than the underlying actively managed funds. These findings contribute to the policy debate on the optimal level and frequency of fund disclosure.

Suggested Citation

  • Mary Margaret Myers & James M. Poterba & Douglas A. Shackelford, 2001. "Copycat Funds: Information Disclosure Regulation and the Returns to Active Management in the Mutual Fund Industry," NBER Working Papers 8653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8653
    Note: AP
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8653.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lakonishok, Josef, et al, 1991. "Window Dressing by Pension Fund Managers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 227-231, May.
    2. 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, August.
    3. Mark M. Carhart & Ron Kaniel & David K. Musto & Adam V. Reed, 2002. "Leaning for the Tape: Evidence of Gaming Behavior in Equity Mutual Funds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(2), pages 661-693, April.
    4. Foster, George, 1980. " Externalities and Financial Reporting," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 35(2), pages 521-533, May.
    5. Admati, Anat R & Pfleiderer, Paul, 2000. "Forcing Firms to Talk: Financial Disclosure Regulation and Externalities," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(3), pages 479-519.
    6. Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan D, 1989. "Mutual Fund Performance: An Analysis of Quarterly Portfolio Holdings," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(3), pages 393-416, July.
    7. repec:bla:joares:v:32:y:1994:i:2:p:224-240 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. David K. Musto, 1999. "Investment Decisions Depend on Portfolio Disclosures," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 935-952, June.
    9. Lerner, Josh, 1995. "Patenting in the Shadow of Competitors," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 463-495, October.
    10. Verrecchia, Robert E., 1983. "Discretionary disclosure," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 179-194, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8653. 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: () or (Joanne Lustig). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.