The Changing Values of the Central City
The institutional environment of the city has changed dramatically since the beginning of the twentieth century. These changes have fundamentally altered the way urban systems work and contributed to the rise of the underground economy. Generally speaking, the institutions that cultivate social development—the respect for property, contract, and tolerance of diversity—have eroded since the 1920s. The transition of rural towns into sprawling suburban communities has hastened this institutional change by validating trends in public policy that continually subvert the spontaneous adjustment processes of metropolitan economies.