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How Are Derivatives Used? Evidence from the Mutual Fund Industry

  • Jennifer Koski
  • Jeffrey Pontiff

Approximately 20 percent of the 675 equity mutual funds analyzed in this paper invest in derivatives. We compare the return distributions of equity mutual funds that invest in derivatives to those that do not. We also analyze the use of derivatives to affect intertemporal changes in fund risk. Equity mutual funds that invest in derivatives have similar risk and similar net return performance in those that do not. Change in fund risk is negatively related to past performance, but derivatives allow funds to dampen these changes. We interpret these results as consistent with the hypothesis that managers are slow to respond to unexpected cash flows, and inconsistent with gaming of incentive compensation systems. This paper was presented at the Financial Institutions Center's May 1996 conference on "

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Paper provided by Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania in its series Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers with number 96-27.

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Date of creation: May 1996
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Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:96-27
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  1. Gary Gorton & Richard Rosen, 1995. "Banks and Derivatives," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 95-07, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    • Gary Gorton & Richard Rosen, 1995. "Banks and Derivatives," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1995, Volume 10, pages 299-349 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. S. James Press, 1967. "A Compound Events Model for Security Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40, pages 317.
  3. Shanken, Jay, 1990. "Intertemporal asset pricing : An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1-2), pages 99-120.
  4. Chevalier, J. & Ellison, G., 1996. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," Working papers 96-3, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Pontiff, Jeffrey, 1995. "Closed-end fund premia and returns Implications for financial market equilibrium," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 341-370, March.
  6. Merton, Robert C & Scholes, Myron S & Gladstein, Mathew L, 1978. "The Returns and Risk of Alternative Call Option Portfolio Investment Strategies," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 183-242, April.
  7. Mark Grinblatt & Sheridan Titman, . "Adverse Risk Incentives and the Design of Performance-Based Contracts," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 21-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  8. Merton, Robert C., 1995. "Financial innovation and the management and regulation of financial institutions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 461-481, June.
  9. Myron S. Scholes, 1981. "The economics of hedging and spreading in futures markets," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 1(2), pages 265-286, 06.
  10. Mark Grinblatt & Sheridan Titman, 1989. "Adverse Risk Incentives and the Design of Performance-Based Contracts," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(7), pages 807-822, July.
  11. Ippolito, Richard A, 1992. "Consumer Reaction to Measures of Poor Quality: Evidence from the Mutual Fund Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 45-70, April.
  12. Bookstaber, Richard & Clarke, Roger, 1984. "Option Portfolio Strategies: Measurement and Evaluation," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 469-92, October.
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