The Amazing $1 Million NYC Taxi Medallion

More

From the wonderful world of bizarre prices, a New York City taxi cab medallion -- that's the tin plate you nail to the hood of a yellow cab --  was sold this week for $1 million, an all-time record.

As we reported a month ago, holding a NYC taxi cab medallion has been a better investment than housing or gold over the last 30 years. The tin plate's price has increased 1,900% since 1980, which is four-times faster than the price increase of an average home or a brick of gold, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.



Data: Federal Housing Finance Agency, New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission

What's behind the surge? It's all about supply and demand. The tailwind behind medallion inflation is a cap on taxi cab licenses. Even as the economy of New York City grew at a furious pace across three decades, the number of taxi plates stayed basically constant, despite wage growth and population growth and rising demands for cross-town transportation. As a result, their value rose tremendously. 

Jump to comments
Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In