Incentives and Mutual Fund Performance: Higher Performance or Just Higher Risk Taking?
Posted: 13 Apr 2009
Date Written: May 2009
We study the impact of contractual incentives on the performance of mutual funds. We find that high-incentive contracts induce managers to take more risk and reduce the funds’ probability of survival. Yet, funds with high-incentive contracts deliver higher risk-adjusted return, and the superior performance remains persistent. The top incentive quintile of funds outperforms the bottom quintile by 2.70% per year. Moreover, high-incentive winner funds from one year have a positive alpha of 0.41% per month in the following year. Focusing on funds’ holdings, we show that active portfolio rebalancing is the main channel through which incentives increase performance.
Keywords: G23, G30, G32
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