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Do less-violent technologies result in less violence? A theoretical investigation applied to the use of tasers by law enforcement

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  • McCannon, Bryan C.

Abstract

The use of a taser by law enforcement can substitute for either a gun (a more-violent technology) or a mildly-violent technology (such as pepper spray or hands-on tactics). Which is used affects both the severity of harm when used and the amount of resistance, which affects how often it must be used. Thus, does the adoption of a less-violent technology lead to more or less violence? This question is addressed in an application to the adoption of tasers by law enforcement officials. A game-theoretic model is developed and environments where resistance to arrest and expected harm both increase and decrease are identified. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 2009-36.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:200936

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Keywords: Law enforcement; less-violent technology; strategic offsetting behavior;

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  1. Peltzman, Sam, 1975. "The Effects of Automobile Safety Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 677-725, August.
  2. Peterson, Steven & Hoffer, George & Millner, Edward, 1995. "Are Drivers of Air-Bag-Equipped Cars More Aggressive? A Test of the Offsetting Behavior Hypothesis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 251-64, October.
  3. Russell S. Sobel & Todd M. Nesbit, 2007. "Automobile Safety Regulation and the Incentive to Drive Recklessly: Evidence from NASCAR," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(1), pages 71-84, July.
  4. W. Kip Viscusi, 1979. "The Impact of Occupational Safety and Health Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 117-140, Spring.
  5. Crandall, Robert W & Graham, John D, 1984. "Automobile Safety Regulation and Offsetting Behavior: Some New Empirical Estimates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 328-31, May.
  6. J. Brian O'Roark & William C. Wood, 2004. "Safety at the Racetrack: Results of Restrictor Plates in Superspeedway Competition," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(1), pages 118-129, July.
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