The Economics of Gentrification

Gentrification is the new monster to be fought. The term already has such bad press, that almost no one is willing to say anything in its favor – defending gentrification and defending neoliberalism are now almost interchangeable.
In this process of constant attack, gentrification has been accused of a wide array of crimes: destroying local commerce by promoting ‘economic monoculture,’ the incomprehensible ‘reduction of walkability,’ and betrayal of neighborhoods and residents. The enemies of free and voluntary trade, which always lack arguments, do not spare adjectives to discredit the term – which almost always comes in the vague form of ‘economic interests.’
What Is Gentrification? Gentrification comes from the word gentry, and Its meaning is associated with nobility or people of high birth – it also refers to the bourgeoisie.
Gentrification is thus the process by which the original residents of a sector or neighborhood – generally centric and popular – are progressively displaced by others with higher purchasing power.
Who could be in favor of gentrification? Isn’t it just another battle in the endless war between the upper classes and the disadvantaged? To shed light on this matter, let’s examine what the value of housing depends on.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Nov 29, 2017.