The Sharing Economy: Uncovered Capital and Hidden Consequences, how new technologies can reshape spending.
Cars tend to depreciate, while homes are seen as an investment. But both purchases require large amounts of capital or credit—money that could be used elsewhere.
For generations, young people all around the world have focused on acquiring two key pieces of property: a home and a car. These purchases are partly status-driven, partly practical. And they’re not identical, of course: Cars tend to depreciate, while homes are seen as an investment. But both purchases require large amounts of capital or credit—money that could be used elsewhere.
With the advent of technologies like Uber and Airbnb, these long-accepted financial decisions may start to change. Why bother with the big upfront investment, the hassles of maintenance and parking, or the liability of owning a car, if you can have one available within minutes with one tap of your phone.
As more and more people use sharing services for transportation, for example, personal vehicles will become less important, both financially and in terms of status. People may decide—and I think this would be the right decision for many —to take the cash they would spend on a vehicle and direct it instead towards smart investments.
The countries that will get ahead will be the ones that train enough workers to do the skilled jobs—designing and maintaining sophisticated machines, or writing the code that helps them run.