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Building the SkylineThe Birth and Growth of Manhattan's Skyscrapers$
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Jason M. Barr

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199344369

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199344369.001.0001

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Measuring the Skyline

Measuring the Skyline

Chapter:
(p.184) 6 Measuring the Skyline
Source:
Building the Skyline
Author(s):

Jason M. Barr

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199344369.003.0007

This chapter investigates skyscraper economics over the twentieth century by looking the variables that influence the supply and demand of building height. First a simple theoretical model is presented that shows the determinants of the profit-maximizing height of the building. Then the chapter discusses the data that was collected to test the theory. The chapter then discusses the results of a statistical analysis to see why the economic height of skyscrapers has evolved over time. Next is a discussion of the reasons why skyscrapers might be “too tall,” including the role of income inequality, height competition, and overoptimism. The chapter presents a list of the top ten “too tall” buildings in Manhattan. Finally, the chapter concludes with a discussion of why New York has not built the world’s tallest building since 1972.

Keywords:   skyscraper height, skyscraper economics, statistical analysis, world’s tallest building, supply and demand

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