I'm an econ noob so apologizes if this is a dumb question.

I'm trying to find if there is categorization of a good that can be owned but is not consumed when used. Tools are an example of this. A hammer is owned and can be used repeatedly without diminishing it (I'm ignoring that it can break over long use). This is compared to a something that is owned but is consumed, like food or lumber or something that is public and is not consumed when used, like a park.

The reason I'm interested in these goods is I want to determine what it means to fairly share goods of this type. I'm hoping knowing the what this type of good is called will help me search for work around it.


As I understand it, the best way to answer your question is to translate your description in to the language of economics and to understand the way that economists talk about these things.

To put this in to the language of economics, these would likely be "durable goods" with very low rates of depreciation. "Capital goods" (or just, capital) are a type of durable good. It is usually assumed that all durable good depreciate at least at some positive rate. This isn't a terrible assumption as, in your example, a hammer might rust over time---even if that time period is very, very long.

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  • $\begingroup$ @Wil I hope this helps. And, BTW, Welcome to Economics.SE. Hope you find this site useful! $\endgroup$ – jmbejara Sep 18 '17 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ thanks for the reply! Capital goods seem to be exactly what I'm after. $\endgroup$ – Wil Yegelwel Sep 18 '17 at 20:00

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