The role of mutual funds in intermediating capital flows to emerging markets has grown, and the composition of types of funds has changed. Based on insights from the literature, we hypothesize that due to behavior of end investors, mutual fund flows are more sensitive to push- and pull factors when the assets held by funds are less liquid and the end investors are smaller, and when end investors can purchase or redeem funds more easily. Our empirical results based on fund-level asset allocation data across emerging markets are largely consistent with the hypotheses. Particularly, we find robust evidence that bond fund flows are more sensitive to pull- and push factors than equity fund flows. Since the share of fund types with higher sensitivities has tended to rise, the sensitivity of overall fund flows has likely increased. Our result also suggests that bond fund managers amplify selling pressure from end investors.
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