Growing Skylines: The Economic Determinants of Skyscrapers in China

43 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2018

See all articles by Jason Barr

Jason Barr

Newark College of Arts & Sciences - Department of Economics

Jingshu Luo

Temple University - Risk Management & Insurance & Actuarial Science

Date Written: November 30, 2018

Abstract

Since 1978, when China instituted economic reforms, cities throughout the country have embraced skyscraper construction. Despite their importance, little is understood about what has been driving skyscraper heights and frequencies in China. This work explores the degree to which skyscraper construction patterns are the result of economic fundamentals, versus political factors and intercity competition. We find a strong economic rational across China, but we also find evidence of noneconomic factors. We show that incentives for political officials, such as career promotion, are helping to contribute to the growth in China’s skylines. We also find that small cities tend to overbuild skyscrapers. Spatial autoregression results further suggest some intercity competition, especially for those within the same tier.

Keywords: China, Economic Determinants, Skyscrapers, Skylines

JEL Classification: R10, R11, R12

Suggested Citation

Barr, Jason and Luo, Jingshu, Growing Skylines: The Economic Determinants of Skyscrapers in China (November 30, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3293430 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3293430

Jason Barr (Contact Author)

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

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

Jingshu Luo

Temple University - Risk Management & Insurance & Actuarial Science ( email )

Fox School of Business and Management
1301 Cecil B. Moore Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

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