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