After six years of construction, workers completed the Shanghai Tower, designed by Gensler, in China. The 632-meters-tall (2,073-feet-tall) skyscraper is now the world’s second tallest building, knocking Chicago’s Willis Tower off the list of the 10 tallest buildings in the world. “The building is a testament to China’s rapid transformation into a global economic superpower as well as a symbol of its lofty ambitions for the future,” The Washington Post’s Ylan Q. Mui writes about the Shanghai Tower.

Following the completion of the tower, the stock market plunged in China. Could the Shanghai Tower be a prime example of the “skyscraper index?” The theory developed in 1999 by economist Andrew Lawrence explains that tall buildings result from overheated economies that quickly went plummeted. Examples from history include New York’s Chrysler and Empire State buildings, which were completed during the beginning of the Great Depression. The Willis Tower was also built as the U.S. economy experienced stagflation.

Looking to the future, China is constructing another skyscraper, the Ping An Finance Center in Shenzhen. The building is scheduled to be completed this year and is expected to bump the Shanghai Tower from second place. The economy will tell if this building boom will be a curse or a boon.

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