The Park Place Economist


This project looks at the relationship between gentrification and violent crime rates, specifically in Washington, DC. Gentrification is a social phenomenon that involves middle and upper class residents moving into the city center where violent crime had previously acted as a barrier for keeping unwanted demographics out. An increase in demand for housing by the higher income residents drives up the cost of housing which, in turn, forces out the lower income residents. Higher income residents generally have lower crime rates, so the crime rate falls as the lower income residents with higher crime rates move. This, however, is all theory. This study explores whether crime rates fall as a result of these upper income families moving in or if the drop in crime is one more reason the upper income residents want to move.