Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

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Skyscrapers and Business Cycles

The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

Tags Booms and BustsBusiness Cycles

07/30/2014Mark Thornton


Volume 8, No. 1 (Spring 2005)


The skyscraper index, created by economist Andrew Lawrence shows a correlation between the construction of the world’s tallest building and the business cycle. Is this just a coincidence, or perhaps do skyscrapers cause business cycles? A theoretical foundation of “Cantillon effects” for the skyscraper index is provided here showing how the basic components of skyscraper construction such as technology are related to key theoretical concepts in economics such as the structure of production. The findings, empirical and theoretical, suggest that the business cycle theory of the Austrian School of economics has much to contribute to our understanding of business cycles, particularly severe ones.


Contact Mark Thornton

Mark Thornton is the Peterson-Luddy Chair in Austrian Economics and a Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute. He is the book review editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, and has authored seven books and is a frequent guest on national radio shows.



Cite This Article

Thornton, Mark. "Skyscrapers and Business Cycles." The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 8, No. 1 (Spring 2005): 51–74.