Why Inherited Wealth is Getting More Important
By Bryan Caplan
Which would be more valuable to Bryan’s children–all his physical possessions, all his financial assets, or a large investment in their human capital?
Probably 90 percent of his physical possessions will be obsolete by the time his children reach 21. Even Bryan’s financial assets probably would not make his children feel particularly wealthy compared with what their human capital will be able to earn in the advanced economy of tomorrow.
How about my house?! Is that going to be “obsolete” in 18 years? Even if housing prices go down a bit and my kids are extremely successful, my house will be worth years of their expected wages. And if this NYT article on the future of housing that Alex Tabarrok discusses is right, I may have to let my kids live with me until they’re 40. It’s a good thing my boys get along so well together, because they may not be able to afford to live separately.
Unless… unless… we see some serious deregulation of construction and land use to make housing affordable again.