We use a theoretical political-economy model with three cities and analyze three questions. First, should police in these cities have access to contentious crime fighting technologies such as facial recognition software? We describe a condition involving benefit, cost, and spatial spillover terms which tells us when the police ought to be provided with this technology. Second, if police are to be offered this technology then what are the properties of a policy regime that provides this technology in a decentralized way? We identify a condition that depends only on benefit and cost terms which tells us when this technology is to be made available in the cities in a decentralized way. Finally, what are the properties of a policy regime that provides the technology in a centralized way with equal cost sharing by the cities? We obtain two conditions involving benefit and spatial spillover terms that describe scenarios in which (i) the technology is provided with majority voting in a city even though it is inefficient to do so and (ii) it is efficient to provide the technology in a city but majority voting will lead to this technology not being provided.
|Number of pages||31|
|Publication status||Published - 20 Jul 2020|
|Series||RIT Economics Department Working Paper|
- Urban Crime