Mutual Fund Tournament: Risk Taking Incentives Induced by Ranking Objectives

A.P. Goriaev, F.A. Palomino, A. Prat

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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 first 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 first part of the year.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • investment trusts
  • financial management
  • financial risk
  • performance


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