Capital Theory

Lecture handout: Capital theory*

Textbook Reading: Chapter 6

There is still a website containing the “Millennium Dome Collection”, but this Guardian article provides a thorough retrospective.

Here is the video of the Sinclair C5 Infomercial:

For a book length treatment of the concept of intangible capital see:

For a nice attempt to avoid treating intangibles as a residual, or less clear category and a meaningful attempt to conceptualise and study them see:

  • Crouzet, Nicolas, Janice C. Eberly, Andrea L. Eisfeldt, and Dimitris Papanikolaou. 2022. The Economics of Intangible Capital.” Journal of Economic Perspectives36 (3): 29-52.

They argue that intangibles require a storage medium, where “The medium can be a piece of physical capital, like a computer (for software), or a document (for a patent or a design), or a person (for a method or an innovation).” This need for a storage medium implies two things:

  1. Non-rivalry in use
  2. Limited excludability

They argue that, “the extent to which these properties generate a valuable intangible asset— which motivates investment—depends on the properties of the storage technology, and the resulting non-rivalry and excludability, and the institutions that enforce property rights.”

Here is a lovely list of repurposed American gas stations.

For more on business plan ecology, see

Learning Objectives: To understand what capital goods are

Spotlight on sustainability: Look at instances where resources have been reconfigured for alternate uses