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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason Barr, 2007. "Skyscrapers and the Skyline: Manhattan, 1895-2004," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2007-002, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
  • Handle: RePEc:run:wpaper:2007-002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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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    3. Jason Barr, 2010. "Skyscrapers and the Skyline: Manhattan, 1895-2004," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 38(3), pages 567-597.
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    Cited by:

    1. Valentina Antoniucci & Giuliano Marella, 2014. "Torri incompiute: i costi di produzione della rigenerazione urbana in contesti ad alta densità," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(3), pages 117-124.
    2. Jason Barr, 2013. "Skyscrapers And Skylines: New York And Chicago, 1885–2007," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 369-391, August.
    3. 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.
    4. Jan K. Brueckner & Ruchi Singh, 2018. "Stringency of Land-Use Regulation: Building Heights in US Cities," CESifo Working Paper Series 6978, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Jason Barr, 2010. "Skyscrapers and the Skyline: Manhattan, 1895-2004," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 38(3), pages 567-597.
    6. repec:krk:eberjl:v:4:y:2016:i:2:p:37-49 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Nestor Garza & Colin Lizieri, 2012. "Skyscrapers and the economy," ERSA conference papers ersa12p414, European Regional Science Association.
    8. Jason Barr, 2012. "Skyscraper Height," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 723-753, October.
    9. Gustavo S. Cortes & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2017. "Stock Volatility and the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 23554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. 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, June.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. repec:eee:regeco:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:1-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Edward L. Glaeser, 2013. "A Nation Of Gamblers: Real Estate Speculation And American History," NBER Working Papers 18825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • N61 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N62 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R33 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Nonagricultural and Nonresidential Real Estate Markets

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