Will Lower Gas Prices Change Our Behavior?

This time may be different.

By SHARE

James Hamilton expects gasoline demand destruction to continue despite lower prices:

Although the price of gasoline today is less than it was a few weeks ago, it's still much higher than it had been at the time you purchased your last car. As consumers replace older models, they're invariably going to continue to substitute into more fuel-efficient vehicles even if oil prices continue to decline. In addition, there was a mentality in 2005 that what looked like high gasoline prices at the time ($3 a gallon) were only temporary. I expect an opposite perception could have set in today—even if gasoline prices go lower for a few months, consumers know they could go back up and nobody wants to be permanently stuck owing the big gasoline bills they remember from this summer.