A new paper from Columbia University highlights the decreasing amount of leisure available to educated people, which may be the current driving force behind gentrification according to The Washington Post's Lydia DePillis. The long hours worked and lack of free time cause citizens to want to live closer to their jobs, which often means they move into urban centers. High-skilled jobs also tend to be centralized in city centers, and higher-educated workers often earn higher salaries which allows them to spend more of their income on housing.
"There, by definition, land is scarce and higher demand translates into higher land rents. In time, local amenities adjust, boosting the attractiveness of the locality, further fueling the gentrification process," say the authors of the study.
In a parallel trend, more educated people tend to marry later and postpone, if not opt out, of parenthood entirely. That decreases the need to move to the suburbs for higher-quality schools, allowing these high-earning urbanites to remain in expensive apartments indefinitely.