Computational Economics

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 35–53 | Cite as

Towards a Holistic Approach for Mutual Fund Performance Appraisal

  • Vassilios Babalos
  • Michael Doumpos
  • Nikolaos Philippas
  • Constantin Zopounidis


There is a growing literature that employs nonparametric frontier methods in order to evaluate the performance of investment funds. This paper proposes an integrated approach for analyzing the efficiency and performance of mutual funds. The methodology combines data envelopment analysis (DEA) with a multicriteria decision aid methodology. DEA is employed to assess the relative efficiency of mutual funds in terms of their return, capital flow, gross expense ratio, turnover rate, and risk. In a second stage, a multicriteria approach is employed to develop an overall performance measure on the basis of the DEA efficiency results. The resulting model evaluates all mutual funds in a common basis and enables comparisons over time. The methodology is applied to a sample of more than 500 US equity mutual funds over the period 2003–2010. The analysis is implemented under three different time-window periods (one, three, and five year evaluations). The results obtained for portfolios constructed on the basis of our global performance measure, Sharpe ratio and Morningstar rating system are useful since they provide significant economic evidence in favor of our global performance measure. Our results entail practical implications for both investors and fund managers in terms of fund selection and efficient portfolio management respectively.


Mutual funds Efficiency Data envelopment analysis  Multiple criteria decision analysis 

JEL Classification

G23 C44 C67 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vassilios Babalos
    • 1
  • Michael Doumpos
    • 2
  • Nikolaos Philippas
    • 4
  • Constantin Zopounidis
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Accounting & FinanceTechnological Educational Institute of PeloponneseKalamataGreece
  2. 2.Financial Engineering Laboratory, School of Production Engineering and ManagementTechnical University of CreteChaniaGreece
  3. 3.Audencia Nantes School of ManagementNantes CedexFrance
  4. 4.Department of Business AdministrationUniversity of PiraeusPiraeusGreece

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