What Explains Performance Persistence of Corporate Bond Mutual Funds?
AdvisorMaxwell, William F.
Committee ChairMaxwell, William F.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis paper examines the performance of corporate bond mutual funds during the period from 1990 to 2003. We find strong evidence of persistence in risk-adjusted performance. The reason behind the persistent performance varies across fund types. For high-quality bond funds, the persistence is driven by time-varying factor loadings, where fund managers trade dynamically on the economic information, such as the term structure and macroeconomic factors. However, the persistence of high-yield bond funds cannot be explained by the fee structure, momentum, callability, non-synchronous trading or time-varying factor loadings. Further examination on the fund flows suggests that the existence of performance persistence is due to the fact that fund flows are not sensitive to the risk-adjusted fund performance, which is consistent with the theory suggested by Berk and Green (2004). Our results have further implications for corporate bond fund selection by investors.