The Impact of the Short-Short Rule Repeal on the Timing Ability of Mutual Funds

29 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2008

See all articles by Kee-Hong Bae

Kee-Hong Bae

York University - Schulich School of Business

Junesuh Yi

Dongguk University


Existing empirical studies find little evidence that mutual fund managers time the market. Repealed in 1997, Internal Revenue Service Code Section 851 (b)(3), known as the short-short rule, requires that mutual funds derive less than 30 percent of their gross income from the sale of securities held for less than three months. Failing to comply with the rule means that the Internal Revenue Service taxes the fund's entire gain at the 35 percent corporate tax rate. The short-short rule likely hinders mutual fund managers from timing the market, as it constrains hedging and trading strategies involving short-term trades. In this paper we exploit the natural experiment arising from the repeal of the tax regulation. We find that the timing performance of mutual fund managers improves significantly after the short-short rule repeal. This result suggests that the perverse timing ability documented in the previous literature is partly due to the tax regulation imposed on mutual funds.

Suggested Citation

Bae, Kee-Hong and Yi, Junesuh, The Impact of the Short-Short Rule Repeal on the Timing Ability of Mutual Funds. Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Vol. 35, Issue 7-8, pp. 969-997, September/October 2008, Available at SSRN: or

Kee-Hong Bae (Contact Author)

York University - Schulich School of Business ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
416-736-2100 ext) 20248 (Phone)
416-736-5687 (Fax)

Junesuh Yi

Dongguk University ( email )

Korea, Republic of (South Korea)
82-2260-8589 (Phone)

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