Time-Varying Incentives in the Mutual Fund Industry
42 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2008 Last revised: 14 Mar 2013
Date Written: April 1, 2008
This paper re-examines the incentives of mutual fund managers arising from investor flows. We provide evidence that the convexity of the flow-performance relationship varies with economic activity. We show that the effect is economically large and is driven neither by abnormal years nor by outliers. We test two possible channels through which this pattern may arise. We investigate implications of the time-varying convexity for the incentives of managers to alter strategically the risk of their portfolios. We provide evidence supporting a 'conditional' tournament hypothesis: poor mid-year performers increase the risk of the portfolio only when economic activity is strong. Finally, we briefly discuss some methodological implications.
Keywords: Mutual funds, Incentives, Flow-Performance Relationship, Convexity, Business Cycles
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