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Maximum-Likelihood Estimates Of Racehorse Earnings And Profitability

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  • Vinzant, Patrick L.
  • Neibergs, J. Shannon
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    Abstract

    Thoroughbred racehorses are commonly characterized as unprofitable investments. Previous studies, grouping all racehorses together, estimate that over 80% of all racehorses in training fail to earn enough to recover the variable costs of training. However, these studies are not truly representative, because they fail to account for a number of factors affecting profitability. This study estimates expected purse earnings and profitability of claiming horses in Kentucky. Maximum-likelihood estimates of probability distribution parameters show that expected purse earnings follow an exponential distribution with a mean of $25,267. Profitability is best described by a Gamma distribution with a mean of $4,824. Of the 305 claims analyzed for profitability, 61% were profitable. The results indicate substantial financial risk associated with claiming race horses, but conclude that there are positive economic returns on average.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia in its journal Journal of Agribusiness.

    Volume (Year): 17 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:ags:jloagb:14682

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    Postal: 301 Conner Hall, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-7509
    Web page: http://www.agecon.uga.edu/~jab/
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    Related research

    Keywords: claiming horses; financial risk; maximum likelihood; probability; profitability; thoroughbred; Agribusiness;

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    1. John Freebairn & Bill Griffiths, 2006. "Introduction," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(s1), pages S1-S1, 09.
    2. Neibergs, J. Shannon & Thalheimer, Richard, 1997. "Price Expectations And Supply Response In The Thoroughbred Yearling Market," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 29(02), December.
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