September 2016

Mutual Fund Flows, Monetary Policy and Financial Stability

Ayelen Banegas, Gabriel Montes-Rojas, and Lucas Siga


We study the links between monetary policy and mutual fund flows, and the potential risks to financial stability that might arise from such flows, using data over the 2000-14 period. We find that monetary policy can have a direct influence on the allocation decisions of mutual fund investors. In particular, we show that monetary policy shocks explain mutual fund flow dynamics and that the effect of these shocks differs by investment strategy. Results suggest that positive shocks to the path of monetary policy (unexpected tightening) are associated with persistent outflows from bond mutual funds. Conversely, a tighter-than-expected monetary policy path will cause net inflows into equity funds. In an industry that "mutualizes" redemption costs and where many funds may engage in liquidity transformation, our flow-performance analysis provides evidence of the potential existence of a first-mover advantage in less liquid segments of the market.

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Keywords: First-mover advantage, Monetary policy, Mutual fund flows


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Last Update: June 19, 2020