Career Winnings and Gender in Thoroughbred Racing

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 Mississippi State University
  • 2 Mary Washington College
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Using career data for the top jockeys in 1993, a two-equation recursive model is estimated to explain the annual number of mounts raced and the total purse winnings earned across gender. The empirical results indicate that after controlling for performance and experience characteristics, female jockeys secure significantly fewer mounts than male jockeys. Holding performance, the quality of mounts, experience, and the number of mounts constant, the model predicts a significant annual winnings differential in favor of female riders. However, the, observed mean winnings differential favors male riders by a factor approaching six. The results suggest that discriminatory barriers may limit the access of female jockeys to quality mounts and premier racing events and thereby may lower their winnings.

Paul W. Grimes is with the Department of Finance and Economics, College of Business and Industry, Mississippi State University, P.O. Drawer DF, Mississippi State, MS 39762. Margaret A. Ray is with the Department of Economics, Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, VA 22401.

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