Economics Energy Environment Education

Rick Nevin

Rick Nevin is a Senior Economist with ICF International. He is best known for his peer-reviewed research showing the relationship between preschool lead exposure and trends in crime, unwed pregnancy, SAT scores, and mental retardation. His research has been reported by the Washington Post, Chemical & Engineering News, BBC Magazine, USA Today, the Sydney Morning Herald, NPR, Canada AM, the New Zealand Listener, the Baltimore Sun, Washingtonian Magazine, and Mother Jones. Nevin has also worked with the National Center for Healthy Housing as a Co-Investigator on a NIH grant for Preventing Child Residential Lead Exposure by Window Replacement. This project promoted a window replacement strategy that eliminates lead paint hazards, lowers utility bills, and increases home value. 

Lucifer Curves

Lucifer Curves tells the stranger-than-fiction true story of how preschool lead poisoning has caused crime waves across centuries and around the world. Lead poisoning also explains USA racial disparities in education, abortion and unwed birth rates, and arrest and incarceration rates. Rick Nevin's peer-reviewed research on this subject is updated with figures showing how lead exposure trends have accurately predicted ongoing crime trends in the USA, Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. Lucifer Curves also presents new pieces of this puzzle, showing how lead poisoning can explain the "dawn to dusk of delinquency" and historic trends in stature known as the "antebellum puzzle". Other figures show that lead poisoning has also predicted USA trends in education and unwed teen pregnancy. Nevin presents clear evidence that lead poisoning has caused these societal trends, in terms accessible to anyone with a curious mind, based on causation indicators that the World Health Organization has described as a “mainstay of epidemiological textbooks and data interpretation”. Nevin also explains how preschool lead exposure still poses an important public health risk, how we can economically eliminate the greatest source of that risk, and how the legacy of lead poisoning has profound implications for current policy debates over criminal justice reform and the death penalty.