SKYSCRAPERS AND SKYLINES: NEW YORK AND CHICAGO, 1885–2007

Authors


  • I would like to thank Peter Loeb, Julia Schwenkenberg, and Troy Tassier for their helpful comments. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2011 American Economic Association meetings in Denver, Colorado; I thank Edward Glaeser for his helpful comments as discussant. I am also grateful for the comments from editor Gianmarco Ottaviano and three anonymous referees. I would also like to thank seminar participants of the Fordham University Economics Department for their helpful suggestions. This work was partially funded by a Rutgers University Research Council Grant. Any errors belong to the author.

ABSTRACT

This paper investigates skyscraper competition between New York City and Chicago. The urban economics literature is generally silent on strategic interaction between cities, yet skyscraper rivalry between these cities is a part of U.S. historiography. This paper tests whether there is, in fact, strategic interaction across cities. First, I find that each city has positive reaction functions with respect to the other city, suggesting strategic complementarity. In regard to zoning, I find that height regulations negatively impacted each city, but produced positive responses by the other city, providing evidence for strategic substitutability.

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