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Skyscraper Height

  • Jason Barr

    ()

This paper investigates the determinants of skyscraper height. First a simple model is provided where potential developers desire not only profits but also status, as measured by their rank in the height hierarchy. The optimal height in equilibrium is a function of the cost and benefits of building as well as the height of surrounding buildings. Using data from New York City, I empirically estimate skyscraper height over the 20th century. The results show that the quest for status has increased building height by about 15 floors above the non-status profit maximizing height. In addition, I provide estimates of which buildings are "too tall" and by how many floors.

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File URL: http://www.ncas.rutgers.edu/workingpaper20082
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark in its series Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark with number 2008-002.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:run:wpaper:2008-002
Contact details of provider: Postal: 360 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Newark, NJ 07102
Phone: (973) 353-5259
Web page: http://www.ncas.rutgers.edu/economics

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  1. Kerry D. Vandell & Jonathan S. Lane, 1989. "The Economics of Architecture and Urban Design: Some Preliminary Findings," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 17(2), pages 235-260.
  2. Jason Barr, 2007. "Skyscrapers and the Skyline: Manhattan, 1895-2004," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2007-002, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
  3. Brueckner, Jan K. & Saavedra, Luz A., 2001. "Do Local Governments Engage in Strategic Property-Tax Competition?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 2), pages 203-30, June.
  4. Strange William C., 1995. "Information, Holdouts, and Land Assembly," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 317-332, November.
  5. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The Efficiency of the Market for Single-Family Homes," NBER Working Papers 2506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Helsley, Robert W. & Strange, William C., 2008. "A game-theoretic analysis of skyscrapers," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 49-64, July.
  7. Ed Hopkins & Tatiana Kornienko, 2004. "Running to Keep in the Same Place: Consumer Choice as a Game of Status," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1085-1107, September.
  8. Titman, Sheridan, 1985. "Urban Land Prices under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 505-14, June.
  9. John Doiron & James D. Shilling & C.F. Sirmans, 1992. "Do Market Rents Reflect the Value of Special Building Features? The Case of Office Atriums," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 7(2), pages 147-156.
  10. Bar-Ilan, Avner & Strange, William C, 1996. "Investment Lags," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 610-22, June.
  11. Peter F. Colwell & M. Shahid Ebrahim, 1997. "A Note on the Optimal Design of an Office Building," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 14(2), pages 169-174.
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