Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Bookmarks: Why buying records is as a good as a pension

Stumbling And Mumbling sees every penny invested in David Bowie records as a penny wisely spent:

It lies in the concept of consumption capital (pdf), described by Gary Becker and George Stigler.

When we bought and listened to Bowie records in the 70s and 80s we accumulated a stock of consumption capital. And the utility we derive from this is so great that a new addition to it naturally has low marginal utility.

In other words, what we think of as consumption is, in many cases, a form of saving - something that gives us utility in future years.Just as saving builds financial capital which we can draw on in future, so spending builds up a stock of satisfaction which we can draw upon in the future.

Does anyone really think the money they spent on Hunky Dory would have been better invested in the stock market? (If you do, leave now; you're not the sort of reader I want.)