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Competition Among Mutual Funds

Sunil Wahal

Arizona State University (ASU) - Finance Department

Yan Albert Wang

The University of Alabama - Department of Economics, Finance & Legal Studies

March 1, 2010

Journal of Financial Economics (JFE), Forthcoming

We examine the impact of the entry of new mutual funds on incumbents using the overlap in their portfolio holdings as a measure of competitive intensity. This simple metric delivers powerful economic results. Incumbents that have a high overlap with entrants subsequently engage in price competition by reducing management fees. Distribution fees, however, rise so that investors do not benefit as much from price competition. Funds with high overlap also experience quantity competition through lower investor flows, have lower alphas, and higher attrition rates. These effects only appear after the late 1990s, at which point there appears to be an endogenous structural shift in the competitive environment. We conclude that the mutual fund market has evolved into one that displays the hallmark features of a competitive market.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 45

Keywords: Mutual funds, Incumbents, Competition

JEL Classification: G20, L10, L11

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Date posted: March 22, 2008 ; Last revised: August 25, 2011

Suggested Citation

Wahal, Sunil and Wang, Yan Albert, Competition Among Mutual Funds (March 1, 2010). Journal of Financial Economics (JFE), Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1130822

Contact Information

Sunil Wahal
Arizona State University (ASU) - Finance Department ( email )
W. P. Carey School of Business
PO Box 873906
Tempe, AZ 85287-3906
United States
Yan Albert Wang (Contact Author)
The University of Alabama - Department of Economics, Finance & Legal Studies ( email )
Culverhouse College of Business
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0223
United States
205-348-8988 (Phone)
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