Participant Reaction and the Performance of Funds Offered by 401(K) Plans

45 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2008

See all articles by Edwin J. Elton

Edwin J. Elton

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

Martin J. Gruber

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

Christopher R. Blake

Fordham University - Gabelli School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2005

Abstract

This is the first study to examine both how well plan administrators select funds and howparticipants react to plan administrator decisions. We find that on average administrators select funds that outperform randomly selected funds of the same type. When administrators change offerings, they choose funds that did well in the past, but after the change deleted funds do better than added funds. Plan participants react strongly to past performance in their allocation decisions. This accentuates the changes in allocation caused by returns. Participant allocations do no better than naïve allocation rules such as equal investment in each offering.

Suggested Citation

Elton, Edwin J. and Gruber, Martin J. and Blake, Christopher R., Participant Reaction and the Performance of Funds Offered by 401(K) Plans (October 2005). NYU Working Paper No. SC-AM-05-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1294625

Edwin J. Elton (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Ste 9-190
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States
212-998-0361 (Phone)
212-995-4233 (Fax)

Martin J. Gruber

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Ste 9-190
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States
212-998-0333 (Phone)
212-995-4233 (Fax)

Christopher R. Blake

Fordham University - Gabelli School of Business ( email )

113 West 60th Street
Lowenstein Building
New York, NY 10023
United States
212-636-6750 (Phone)

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