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.
Severen, Christopher, and Arthur A. van Benthem.
"Formative Experiences and the Price of Gasoline."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
Micro-Based Behavioral Economics: Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Hydrocarbon Fuels
Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise