The Performance of European Index Funds and Exchange-Traded Funds

31 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2009 Last revised: 18 May 2010

David Blitz

Robeco Asset Management - Quantitative Strategies

Joop Huij

Erasmus University - Rotterdam School of Management; Robeco Quantitative Strategies; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Laurens Swinkels

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR); Robeco Institutional Asset Management

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 24, 2009

Abstract

European index funds and exchange-traded funds underperform their benchmarks by 50 to 150 basis points per annum. The explanatory power of dividend withholding taxes as a determinant of this underperformance is at least at par with fund expenses. Dividend taxes also explain performance differences between funds that track different benchmarks and time variation in fund performance. Our results imply that not only fund expenses, but also dividend taxation can result in a substantial drag on the performance of mutual funds.

Keywords: passive investing, index fund, ETF, dividend taxes, performance evaluation

JEL Classification: G11, G14, G19

Suggested Citation

Blitz, David and Huij, Joop and Swinkels, Laurens, The Performance of European Index Funds and Exchange-Traded Funds (July 24, 2009). ERIM Report Series Reference. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1438484 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1438484

David Blitz (Contact Author)

Robeco Asset Management - Quantitative Strategies ( email )

Weena 850
Rotterdam, 3014 DA
Netherlands

Joop Huij

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

Erasmus University - Rotterdam School of Management ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.rsm.nl/jhuij

Robeco Quantitative Strategies

Rotterdam, 3011 AG
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.robeco.com/quant

Laurens Swinkels

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA
Netherlands

Robeco Institutional Asset Management ( email )

Rotterdam, 3000
Netherlands
+31 10 224 2470 (Phone)
+31 10 224 2110 (Fax)

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