Returns to Skill in Professional Golf: A Quantile Regression Approach, pp. 167-180

Leo H. Kahane

There have been a host of empirical papers studying the returns to skill in professional golf (e.g., Alexander & Kern, 2005; Callan & Thomas, 2007; Moy & Liaw, 1998; Rishe, 2001; Shmanske, 1992, 2000, 2008). None of these studies, however, carefully considers the skewed distribution of earnings in professional golf. This paper uses quantile regression to better handle the skewness and outlier values found in PGA earnings data. Using data from the PGA for the years 2004 to 2007 results of quantile regressions show that the returns to skills—such as putting and driving accuracy—have a statistically different impact on earnings at different points on the conditional earnings distribution.