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India to build world's second tallest skyscraper

But is it a prelude to disaster?
Skyscraper city economy 7 20111005Enlarge
The Empire State Building is illuminated with green lights at sunset in honor of the Muslim holiday Eid-al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

India has plans to build the world's second tallest skyscraper.

But will what goes up inevitably come down?

A new Barclay Capital report says yes. The report notes the disturbing correlation between the building of skyscrapers and times of economic collapse.

Such clusters of building activity usually coincide with periods of easy credit, excessive optimism and rising land prices, the report says, which can be warning signs before collapse.

Take the Chrysler and the Empire State buildings in Manhattan, which were built just before the Great Depression, the Guardian reports.

More recently, Dubai built a bunch of skyscrapers, including the world's tallest Burj Khalifa, before its economy came crashing down in 2010.

Is India, which only has two skyscrapers right now but has plans to complete 14 more over the next five years, getting the architectural version of too big for its britches?

More from GlobalPost: Asia's skyscraper supremacy

What will happen after it completes the 720-meter India Tower, which is set to overtake the Shanghai Tower (assuming that gets completed in 2014) to become the world's second tallest building?

Only time will tell.

But according to the Economic Times, India's economic growth is set to slow in 2012. Though it, along with China, will still account for more than half of the world's total economic growth.

China, according to Bloomberg, is home to more than half the skyscrapers being built around the world.

“Partly as a symbol of economic power and prestige, China is stepping towards these super-tall buildings of 80 stories or more,” Jason Pomeroy, a Singapore-based architect and academic with the firm Broadway Malyan, told GlobalPost's Patrick Winn last year.

But, he added, the display of economic might can be misleading.

“Dare I say it? There’s a paradox there. The ultra-exclusive tower that symbolizes power and prestige can mark the cataclysmic effects of a coming depression.”

More from GlobalPost: In-depth series on India's uneven rise in the 21st century

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/india-economy-skyscraper-building-boom