Redistributive Trends

36 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2017 Last revised: 14 May 2019

See all articles by Robin Döttling

Robin Döttling

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

Enrico C. Perotti

University of Amsterdam - Finance Group; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Tinbergen Institute

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Date Written: April 1, 2019


We show how a technological shift to intangible capital can account for major economicand financial trends since 1980. Intangible investment requires the commitment of high-skill human capital, which is paid with deferred promises on future cashflows. As deferredhuman capital income is not tradeable, the amount of investable assets in the economyfalls. The general equilibrium effect is a gradual fall in interest rates and a re-allocation ofexcess savings into rising valuations of existing assets such as real estate. The concomitantrise in house prices and wage inequality leads to higher household leverage.

Keywords: Intangible capital, skill-biased technological change, mortgage credit, human capital, excess savings, house prices

JEL Classification: D33, E22, G32, J24

Suggested Citation

Döttling, Robin and Perotti, Enrico C., Redistributive Trends (April 1, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Robin Döttling

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-46
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR

Enrico C. Perotti (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Finance Group ( email )

Plantage Muidergracht 12
Amsterdam, 1018 TV
+31 20 525 4159 (Phone)
+31 20 525 5285 (Fax)


Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

United Kingdom

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Gustav Mahlerplein 117
Amsterdam, 1082 MS

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