Public Choice

, Volume 142, Issue 3, pp 507-513

First online:

“Rubbin’ is racin''': evidence of the Peltzman effect from NASCAR

  • Adam T. PopeAffiliated withFederal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Email author 
  • , Robert D. TollisonAffiliated withJohn E. Walker Department of Economics, Clemson University

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The Peltzman Effect is a well known and controversial theory in the literature. Studies have struggled to find a dataset that can accurately test for the presence of the effect. We have created a unique dataset and use a natural experiment from the sport of stock car racing to test the theory. Using race-level data from NASCAR events, we find strong evidence that a major safety regulation has led to more on-track accidents and an increased risk to both spectators and pit crew members.


Nascar Peltzman effect Moral hazard Caution laps