Does Herding Behavior Reveal Skill? An Analysis of Mutual Fund Performance

Does Herding Behavior Reveal Skill? An Analysis of Mutual Fund Performance

  • HAO JIANG
  • MICHELA VERARDO

Article first published online: 19th June 2018 DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12699

Abstract


We uncover a negative relation between herding behavior and skill in the mutual fund industry. Our new, dynamic measure of fund‐level herding captures the tendency of fund managers to follow the trades of the institutional crowd. We find that herding funds underperform their antiherding peers by over 2% per year. Differences in skill drive this performance gap: Antiherding funds make superior investment decisions even on stocks not heavily traded by institutions, and can anticipate the trades of the crowd; furthermore, the herding‐antiherding performance gap is persistent, wider when skill is more valuable, and larger among managers with stronger career concerns.

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