The skyscraper index, created by economist Andrew Lawrence shows a correlation between the construction of the world's tallest building and the business cycle.
The ability of the index to predict economic collapse is surprising. For example, the Panic of 1907 was presaged by the building of the Singer Building (completed in 1908) and the Metropolitan Life Building (completed in 1909). The skyscraper index also accurately predicted the Great Depression with the completion of 40 Wall Tower in 1929, the Chrysler Building in 1930, and the Empire State Building in 1931.
There are, however, important exceptions - the skyscraper index has not predicted all major economic collapses such as the depressions of 1920–21, 1937–38, and 1981–82 and has predicted economic collapse when downturns were relatively mild such as 1913 and the early 1970s.
|1908||Singer||New York||612 ft.||48||Panic of 1907|
|1909||Metropolitan Life||New York||700 ft.||50||Panic of 1907|
|1912||Woolworth||New York||792 ft.||57||——|
|1929||40 Wall Street||New York||927 ft.||71||Great Depression|
|1930||Chrysler||New York||1,046 ft.||77||Great Depression|
|1931||Empire State||New York||1,250 ft.||102||Great Depression|
|1972/73||World Trade Center||New York||1,368 ft.||110||1970s stagflation|
|1974||Sears Tower||Chicago||1,450 ft.||110||1970s stagflation|
|1997||Petronas Tower||Kuala Lumpur||1,483 ft.||88||East Asian|
|1997?||Sathorn Unique||Bangkok||49||East Asian|
|2009||Burj Khalifa||Dubai||2,717 ft.||163||The Great Recession|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Mark Thornton. "Skyscrapers and Business Cycles", Mises Daily, August 23, 2008. Originally appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics vol. 8, no. 1 (Spring 2005) - PDF. There is also an MP3 audio file read by the author. Referenced 2011-02-15.
- ↑ Hank Snaffler. "Abandoned Skyscraper – “Sathorn Unique” – Fifty Levels of Awesome Abandoned Building", abandonedjourney.com, June 15, 2011. Referenced 2011-07-08.
- Skyscrapers 'linked with impending financial crashes', BBC News, January 2012
- The Skies the Limit: An Interview with Mark Thornton by Tim Swanson, June 2012
- "The Skyscraper Curse Comes To New York?" by Mark Thornton, June 2013
- "European Crisis Signal" by Mark Thornton, July 2012
- "Mark Thornton on Skyscrapers in ‘Le Monde’" by Mises Updates, August 2013
- Skyscrapers and the Housing Crisis by Mark Thornton, July 2010
- "A Skyscraper Curse with Chinese Characteristics" by Mark A. DeWeaver, August 2013
- Skyscraper Index is Flashing Red Alert by Doug French, October 2013
- "The New Skyscraper Curse" by Mark Thornton, May 2014
- Skyscraper Index at Wikipedia