Employment density and agglomeration economies in tall buildings

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 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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