Summary of When the Market Drives You Crazy

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According to the US National Safety Council, more than 40,000 Americans died as a result of vehicular accidents in 2017, largely due to drunk, distracted or unbuckled drivers. However, a seemingly obscure rationale could also factor into these casualties. Economists Corrado Giulietti, Mirco Tonin and Michael Vlassopoulos investigate a curious uptick in motor vehicle fatalities following declines in daily equity returns. Investors will find this academic report a fascinating examination of the role of emotion in stock markets.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How stock market performance may affect drivers’ performance and
  • Why experts should focus on market downturns as a behavioral catalyst for poor driving outcomes.

About the Authors

Corrado Giulietti and Michael Vlassopoulos are economists at the University of Southampton in England. Mirco Tonin is an economics professor at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano in Italy.



A distracted driver poses enormous risks. Every year, at least 1.2 million people die in road accidents, according to the World Health Organization, while in the United States, vehicle crashes cost the economy a total of $242 billion in 2010. Transportation officials cite operating under the influence, distracted driving tied to device usage and the failure to use seatbelts as primary causes of automotive fatalities. Experts know that some of these behaviors are linked to emotional and psychological elements arising from substance abuse, family dynamics, or employment and financial concerns, among many others. Surprisingly, the performance of equity markets can also influence drivers’ psychological state.

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