Philip Cohen points out single mothers could not have caused the cause the 1970s-1990s crime wave with a very simple chart.
“Looking at it from the perspective of 1990, it was easy to assume a strong causal relationship between the rise in single motherhood and the murder epidemic. By my reading of the research, it is true that children of single mothers are more likely to commit crimes. But other factors are more important. That must be the case, or we wouldn’t see the overall trends in the United States split this dramatically starting in the 1990s:”
Fortunately, we know the “other factor” is lead poisoning, at least as answers to these questions:
- Mental Retardation
- SAT Scores
I also suspect Tyler Cowen’s Great Stagnation in innovation was caused by lead poisoning. We just were not smart enough to think of useful new technology.