Abortion, legalised throughout the United States by the Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade ruling in 1973, prevents unwanted pregnancies from becoming unwanted children. Higher abortion rates from the 1970s onwards thus help to explain why crime rates fell in America about two decades later.

That’s the theory. But a paper published last week? by Christopher Foote and Christopher Goetz, two economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, finds an embarrassing hole in the evidence. —Oops-onomics (Economist)

I’ve blogged before about the flap Bill Bennett caused when he alluded to this study.