I keep hearing anecdotally from recent visitors to China/Dubai/BRIC about all the building cranes they see, stories about man made islands visible from space, and the contrarian in me reminds me of the 'Skyscraper Index'. Here is an interesting research abstract, by Mark Thornton, Senior Fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute: Skyscrapers and Business Cycles Abstract: The construction of skyscrapers that qualify as the Ã¢â¬ÅWorldÃ¢â¬â¢s Tallest BuildingÃ¢â¬Âtends to coincide with major downturns in the economy. The Skyscraper Index, created by economist Andrew Lawrence shows a high level of correlation between skyscraper construction and the business cycle. Is this just a coincidence, or perhaps do skyscrapers cause business cycles? A theoretical foundation of Ã¢â¬ÅCantillon EffectsÃ¢â¬Â 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.