This study looks at the causal forces behind the social relocation phenomenon known as gentrification. Location theory posits that ever increasing commute times coupled with falling crime rates in the city-center incentivize the high-income population to move from the suburbs to the city, driving up housing prices and displacing the low-income, original residents who live in the city. This paper applies location theory to Washington, D.C. in an attempt to explain the ongoing gentrification process through the displacement of original residents. City-wide data at the neighborhood level for housing prices and crime rates are analyzed to explore the causal relationships each has with gentrification. I find that falling crime rates and rising housing prices each Granger-cause gentrification just as gentrification Granger-causes both a decrease in crime rates and an increase in housing prices.
Lawrence, Will, "Displacement in D.C.: A Case Study of Gentrification and Granger-Causality in Our Nation's Capitol" (2013). Honors Projects. 122.