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Project Citation: 

Severen, Christopher, and van Benthem, Arthur. Data and Code for: Formative Experiences and the Price of Gasoline. Nashville, TN: American Economic Association [publisher], 2022. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2022-03-21.

Project Description

Summary:  View help for Summary
Formative experiences shape behavior for decades. We document a striking feature about those who came of driving age during the oil crises of the 1970s: they drive less in the year 2000. The effect is not specific to these cohorts; price variation over time and across states indicates that gasoline price changes between ages 15–18 generally shift later-life travel behavior. Effects are not explained by recessions, income, or costly skill acquisition and are inconsistent with recency bias, mental plasticity and standard habit-formation models. Instead, they likely reflect formation of preferences for driving or persistent changes in its perceived cost.

Scope of Project

Subject Terms:  View help for Subject Terms formative experiences; preference persistence; path dependence; driving behavior; gasoline price
JEL Classification:  View help for JEL Classification
      D12 Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
      D90 Micro-Based Behavioral Economics: General
      L91 Transportation: General
      Q41 Energy: Demand and Supply; Prices
      R41 Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
Geographic Coverage:  View help for Geographic Coverage United States
Time Period(s):  View help for Time Period(s) 1966 – 2017 (Outcome data are recorded from 1980 to 2017; Gas price data are from 1966 to 2017)

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