Future Volkswagen owner? (Shutterstock)
Children are a blank slate. They draw their habits, behaviors and mannerisms from their parents. If you subscribe to that viewpoint, then this study out of Michigan State University won't really come as a surprise. According to Soren Anderson, an MSU economist, kids are 39 percent more likely to buy cars from the brands their parents support.

So, if your parents buy Jeeps, there's a strong correlation that you're going to end up behind a seven-slat grille at some point. Same goes for Cadillac owners, Toyota fans and Bimmerphiles.

The on-going study drew this correlation after surveying 4,300 adult children and their 2,600 parents. The nationwide surveys were held every two years between 1999 and 2011. Brands were bunched by ownership, so for example, rather than listing Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick and GMC independently, General Motors was the sole option.

"In theory, these findings could change the way automakers price and market their cars," Anderson claims. "Is this really about the cars or could it be other factors, like parents and children tending to be more similar to each other than other people? We're pretty sure it has something to do with the cars themselves."

The results of Anderson's study will be published in the Journal of Industrial Economics.



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