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Skyscrapers and the Skyline: Manhattan, 1895-2004

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  • Jason Barr

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Abstract

This paper investigates the determinants of skyscraper building cycles in Manhattan from 1895 to 2004. We first provide a simple model of the market for tall buildings. Then we empirically estimate the determinants of the time series of the number of skyscraper completions and their average heights over the 110 year period. We estimate the model under the assumption of rational expectations and myopic expectations, and find that the myopic model provides a better fit of the data. Furthermore, we find that several local and national variables determine both the number of completions and the average height of skyscrapers, including New York City area population; national employment in finance, insurance and real estate; building costs; access to financing; property tax rates and zoning regulations.

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File URL: http://www.ncas.rutgers.edu/workingpaper20072
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark in its series Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark with number 2007-002.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:run:wpaper:2007-002

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Keywords: Skyscrapers; building cycles; building height; Manhattan; New York City; myopic expectations; rational expectations;

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References

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  1. Finn, Mary G., 1986. "Forecasting the exchange rate: A monetary or random walk phenomenon?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 181-193, June.
  2. Tony McGough & Sotiris Tsolacos, 1999. "Interactions within the Office Market Cycle in Great Britain," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 18(1), pages 219-232.
  3. Benson, Earl D, et al, 1998. "Pricing Residential Amenities: The Value of a View," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 55-73, January.
  4. Titman, Sheridan, 1985. "Urban Land Prices under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 505-14, June.
  5. David Picken & Ben Ilozor, 2003. "Height and construction costs of buildings in Hong Kong," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(2), pages 107-111.
  6. Grenadier, Steven R, 1995. "The Persistence of Real Estate Cycles," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 95-119, March.
  7. Bar-Ilan, Avner & Strange, William C, 1996. "Investment Lags," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 610-22, June.
  8. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent, 1979. "Formulating and estimating dynamic linear rational expectations models," Working Papers 127, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Case, Karl E & Shiller, Robert J, 1989. "The Efficiency of the Market for Single-Family Homes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 125-37, March.
  10. Jim Clayton, 1996. "Rational Expectations, Market Fundamentals and Housing Price Volatility," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 24(4), pages 441-470.
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Cited by:
  1. Edward L. Glaeser, 2013. "A Nation of Gamblers: Real Estate Speculation and American History," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 1-42, May.
  2. Nestor Garza & Colin Lizieri, 2012. "Skyscrapers and the economy," ERSA conference papers ersa12p414, European Regional Science Association.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser, 2013. "A Nation Of Gamblers: Real Estate Speculation And American History," NBER Working Papers 18825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jason Barr & Bruce Mizrach & Kusum Mundra, 2011. "Skyscraper Height and the Business Cycle: International Time Series Evidence," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2011-003, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
  5. Jason Barr, 2008. "Skyscraper Height," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2008-002, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
  6. Jason Barr, 2011. "Skyscrapers and Skylines: New York and Chicago, 1885-2007," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2011-001, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
  7. Tom Nicholas & Anna Scherbina, 2013. "Real Estate Prices During the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 41(2), pages 278-309, 06.
  8. Hans R. A. Koster & Piet Rietveld & Jos N. van Ommerren, 2011. "Is the Sky the Limit? An Analysis of High-Rise Office Buildings," SERC Discussion Papers 0086, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.

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