Employment density and agglomeration economies in tall buildings

Crocker H. Liu, Stuart S. Rosenthal, William C. Strange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This paper examines vertical patterns of employment density and agglomeration economies within tall buildings. Theory suggests that vertical density should depend on the interplay of street access, height-related amenities, and productivity. Based on suite level data, we show that density patterns are u-shaped, with high density at ground level and high floors. Furthermore, factors associated with productivity, including nearby employment and firm-specific characteristics, have positive effects on employment density. Vertical density patterns are consistent with productivity spillovers that are strongest on a company's floor and attenuate rapidly with vertical distance. Similar evidence is obtained based on sales for law firms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103555
JournalRegional Science and Urban Economics
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Agglomeration
  • Commercial real estate
  • Density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Urban Studies


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