Take Two for April 24, 2013

How the recession has impacted youth's view on cars, money

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Some young adults say their student loan debt affects their dating and marriage potential. A few have had partners break up over debt, while other couples forge ahead, but keep finances separate and avoid legal marriage.

The latest federal transportation statistics show that Americans are driving less than ever before. One independent analysis found miles driven nationwide have dropped more than an estimated 8 percent since June 2005.

That drop-off is happening even here the car capital of Los Angeles. Professor Michael Smart who teaches transportation policy at UCLA says the recession is by far the biggest reason for the decline for everybody. Another reason is that younger drivers head out on the road less.

One reason why many young people may be driving less is that they're reluctant to actually buy a car. Or, for that matter, they might be reluctant to buy most anything. The reason may be the timing of the Great Recession. 

In 2008 when many 20-somethings were in their teens, the country was in the midst of the economic downturn. How did that period affect how young people think about money and how they spend it? 

Suzanne Shu, an Assistant Professor of Marketing at UCLA's Anderson School of Business and an expert on behavior, joins the show with some insight into this phenomenon.


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