Growing Skylines: The Economic Determinants of Skyscrapers in China
43 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2018
Date Written: November 30, 2018
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: Suggested Citation