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Cities and Ethics: An Essay for Jane Jacobs

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This tribute to Jane Jacobs connects her seminal work on cities with her newer focus on ethical systems. I present a model and evidence suggesting that cross-community mobility in cities makes it difficult to enforce strict ethical standards. Just as Jacobs' argues that cities permit technological innovations, cities appear to permit ethical innovations. Finally, following Jacobs' distinction between mercantile ethical systems and warrior (or guardian) ethical systems, I present a model where cities become centers for mercantile ethics. Current evidence shows that urban residents are more pro-money and residents of small towns are more likely to support the army.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Harvard University

Publication date: 2000-12-01

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