Skyscraper Height

Posted: 27 Nov 2012

See all articles by Jason Barr

Jason Barr

Newark College of Arts & Sciences - Department of Economics

Date Written: 2012


This paper investigates the determinants of skyscraper height. First a simple model is provided where potential developers desire not only profits but also social status. In equilibrium, height is a function of both the costs and benefits of construction and the heights of surrounding buildings. Using data from New York City, I empirically estimate skyscraper height over the 20th century. Via spatial regressions, I find evidence for height competition, which increases during boom times. In addition, I provide estimates of which buildings are economically "too tall" and by how many floors.

Keywords: skyscrapers, building height, status, New York City

JEL Classification: D24, D44, N62, R33

Suggested Citation

Barr, Jason, Skyscraper Height (2012). Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Vol. 45, No. 3, 2012, Available at SSRN:

Jason Barr (Contact Author)

Newark College of Arts & Sciences - Department of Economics ( email )

360 ML King Jr. Blvd.
Newark, NJ 07102
United States

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