Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Financial Economics


Economics and Finance

Major Professor

Wei, Peihwang Philip

Second Advisor

Mukherjee, Tarun K.

Third Advisor

Turunen-Red, Ajra H.

Fourth Advisor

Naka, Atsuyuki

Fifth Advisor

Krishnaswami, Sudha


In two unrelated papers, we examine different aspects of mutual fund performance and other issues. In the first chapter, we look at exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and how they differ from index funds in performance and tracking error. Using daily data and a more comprehensive sample than past research, we find abnormal returns associated with the ETFs are higher than the alphas of the index funds in most cases. The results are much more prevalent in funds that follow the S&P 500 than funds that do not. When examining the tracking errors, we find index funds are able to track their indexes much better than ETFs and domestic ETFs are better than ETFs that track international indexes. In our most significant finding, we find that tracking error affects fund flow in the following period. While fund flows are generally increasing for both ETFs and index funds, funds that track their respective index better increase their net assets by a larger percentage than funds that track their index less well. In the second chapter, we look at the differences in performance and characteristics of mutual funds as they relate to the manager's gender. Using a larger sample and different techniques than have been used in the past, we find some differences in our matched comparison which suggest female managers have a lower risk tolerance than males. Females also tend to hold a higher number of assets (stocks) and fewer assets in their top 10 holdings than do male managers. In, pooled regressions, we find weak, but significant evidence that current female fund managers, when analyzed as a group, show slightly lower performance than male managers. We then analyze performance within funds over time. Our most consistent result is that when changing the composition of fund management, regardless of gender, the new management has significantly greater performance than prior management. We also find some evidence, although not conclusive, that the percentage of female managers managing a fund is negatively related to the fund's performance over time. Finally, we find the determinants of abnormal returns cannot be attributed to the fund manager's gender.


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