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Mutual fund tournament: risk taking incentives induced by ranking objectives

By A. Goriaev, Frédéric Palomino and Andrea Prat


There is now extensive empirical evidence showing that fund managers have relative performance objectives and adapt their investment strategy in the last part of the calendar year to their performance in the early part of the year. However, emphasis was put on returns in excess of some exogenous benchmark return. In this paper, we investigate whether fund managers have ranking objectives (as in a tournament). First, in a two-period model, we analyze the game played by two risk-neutral fund managers with ranking objectives. We derive conditions on the set of possible strategies under which the aggregate amount of risk undertaken in the late period is larger than in the ¯rst period. In the second part of the paper, we provide evidence that (i) funds have risk incentives generated by ranking objectives, (ii) risk induced by ranking objectives is mainly idiosyncratic, and (iii) risk incentives generated by ranking objectives are stronger for funds ranked in the top decile after the ¯rst part of the year

Topics: HG Finance
Publisher: Center for Economic Research, Tilburg University
Year: 2000
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Provided by: LSE Research Online
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