Survivorship Bias and Mutual Fund Performance

REVIEW OF FINANCIAL STUDIES, Vol. 9 No. 4

Posted: 16 Jul 1996

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

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Abstract

Mutual fund attrition can create problems for a researcher, because funds that disappear tend to do so due to poor performance. In this paper we estimate the size of the bias by tracking all funds that existed at the end of 1976. When a fund merges we calculate the return, taking into account the merger terms. This allows a precise estimate of survivorship bias. In addition, we examine characteristics of both mutual funds that merge and their partner funds. Estimates of survivorship bias over different horizons and using different models to evaluate performance are provided.

JEL Classification: G23

Suggested Citation

Elton, Edwin J. and Gruber, Martin J. and Blake, Christopher R., Survivorship Bias and Mutual Fund Performance. REVIEW OF FINANCIAL STUDIES, Vol. 9 No. 4. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=7626

Edwin J. Elton

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 (Contact Author)

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

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