When Cheaper Is Better: Fee Determination in the Market for Equity Mutual Funds Articles uri icon

publication date

  • September 2008

start page

  • 871

end page

  • 885


  • 3-4


  • 67

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0167-2681

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-1751


  • In this paper, we develop a model of the market for equity mutual funds that captures three key characteristics of this market. First, there is competition among funds. Second, fund managers' ability is not observed by investors before making their investment decisions. Third, some investors do not make optimal use of all available information. The main results of the paper are that (1) price competition is compatible with positive mark-ups in equilibrium, and (2) worse-performing funds set fees that are greater or equal to those set by better-performing funds. These predictions are supported by available empirical evidence.