On November 1st, 2017, Savannah submitted a proposal to the Columbia University Institutional Review Board (IRB), to study “The Effects of Silicon Valley Companies on the Bay Area Housing Crisis” in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Science in Urban Planning.
While a lot of research has been done on the San Francisco Bay Area’s Silicon Valley, little has been studied on the direct cause of the housing crisis as a result of high tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Google, and Apple.
In Savannah’s study, primary data that is aggregated, anonymized, and publicly available for download will be gathered from the US Census Bureau from tables S2506, S2507, and B19001. The variables taken from these tables to answer will be average home price and average household income. Together they will be used to answer the question: Is the average home price increasing faster in cities where the average household income is also increasing? A statistical analysis will then be run in a linear regression format for two different cities: Palo Alto, California, a Silicon Valley city, and Vallejo, California, a Bay Area city outside of the Silicon Valley. Both results will be compared to look for statistical significance that will lead to the answer of whether or not the presence of tech companies is having an effect in either direction on average home price.
The first linear regression will be run as a two-tailed t- test with average home price as the dependent variable and average household income as the independent variable for the city of Palo Alto, California. Then, a second linear regression will be run, but instead using the data of average home price and average household income for Vallejo, CA. Finally, using the results from both of these regressions, the relationship between average household income and average home price will be analyzed for statistical significance based on their relative p-values.