Studies and Reports

Over the past decade, many economists and other experts have published articles, studies and reports demonstrating the important benefits of prevailing wage laws and refuting the claims of those who support their repeal. The National Alliance for Fair Contracting, Inc. has prepared this compilation, along with a brief description, of many of those studies.

The studies and reports below are broken into four categories and are linked via website or pdf, some studies are not available online or may be books, please contact NAFC directly for further information.

PREVAILING WAGE STUDIES

 

2016 Studies & Reports

The Release of Davis-Bacon Certified Payroll Records, Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, and the Question of Competitive Harm to Contractors

Kevin Duncan, Ph.D., Jeffrey Waddups, Ph.D. (June 2016)

An Analysis of the Impact of Prevailing Wage Thresholds on Public Construction: Implications for Illinois

Frank Manzo IV, MPP, Robert Bruno, PD.D. (April 2016)

The Economic, Fiscal, and Social Impacts of State Prevailing Wage Laws: Choosing Between the High Road and the Low Road in the Construction Industry

Kevin Duncan, Ph.D., Frank Manzo IV, MPP, Alex Lantsberg, MCP, AICP (Feb. 2016)

Towards the High Road in the New Hampshire Construction Industry: The Impact of a State Prevailing Wage Law

Kevin Duncan, Ph.D., Stephen Herzenberg, Ph.D., Frank Manzo IV, MPP, Alex Lantsberg, MCP, AICP
(Jan. 2016)

 

2015 Studies & Reports

The Cost of Repealing Michigan’s Prevailing Wage Policy: Impacts on Total Construction Costs and Economic Activity

Kevin Duncan, Ph.D., Frank Manzo IV, MPP, Alex Lantsberg, MCP, AICP (June 2015)

How Weakening Wisconsin’s Prevailing Wage Policy Would Affect Public Construction Costs and Economic Activity

Kevin Duncan, Ph.D., Alex Lantsberg, MCP, AICP (May 2015)

Building the Golden State: The Economic Impacts of California’s Prevailing Wage Policy

Kevin Duncan, Ph.D., Alex Lantsberg, MCP, AICP (March 2015)

West Virginia’s Prevailing Wage: Good for Business, Good for Workers

Sean O’Leary, West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy (Jan. 2015)

The Adverse Economic Impact from Repeal of the Prevailing Wage Law in West Virginia

Michael Kelsay, Ph.D., University of Missouri-Kansas City, Department of Economics (Jan. 2015)

Prevailing Wage Laws, Contractor Profits, and the Economic Pie

Frank Manzo IV, MPP, Illinois Economic Policy Institute (Jan. 2015)

 

2014 Studies & Reports

The Social and Economic Impacts of Wage Violations: Estimates for California and New York

U.S. Department of Labor, prepared by Eastern Research Group, Inc. (Dec. 2014)

Self-Sufficient Construction Workers: Why Prevailing Wage Laws are the Best Deal for Taxpayers

Frank Manzo IV, MPP and LeNee Carroll, MSW, Midwest Economic Policy Institute (Aug. 2014)

Common Sense Construction: The Economic Impacts of Indiana’s Common Construction Wage | Common Sense Construction Report Summary

Frank Manzo IV, MPP, Robert Bruno, Ph.D., Scott Littlehale (June 2014)

Do Responsible Contractor Policies Increase Construction Bid Costs?

C. Jeffrey Waddoups, Ph.D. and David C. May, MS. (May 2014)

Kentucky’s Prevailing Wage Law: An Economic Impact Analysis

Peter Philips, Ph.D., Professor of Economics, University of Utah (Jan. 2014)

Which Labor Market Institutions Reduce Income Inequality? Labor Unions, Prevailing Wage Laws, and Right-to-Work Laws in the Construction Industry | (Policy Brief)

Frank Manzo IV, MPP and Robert Bruno, Ph.D. (Jan. 2014)

 

2013 Studies & Reports

A Weakened State: The Economic and Social Impacts of Repeal of the Prevailing Wage Law in Illinois | (Policy Brief)

Alison Dickson Quesada, Frank Manzo IV, Dale Belman, Ph.D., and Robert Bruno, Ph.D. (Oct. 2013)

Taking the Low Road: How the Federal Government Promotes Poverty-Wage Jobs Through its Contracting Practices

Anastasia Christman, Ph.D., Amy Masciola, Ph.D. Robert Masciola, Shelley Sperry, Ph.D. and Paul Sonn (July 2013)

 

 

2012 Studies & Reports

Wage Theft in Iowa

Colin Gordon, Matthew Glasson, Jenifer Sherer & Robin Clark-Bennett

 

2011 Studies & Reports

Economic, Fiscal and Social Impacts of Prevailing Wage in San Jose, California

Working Partnerships USA (April 2011)

An Analysis of Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wage Requirements: Evidence form Highway Resurfacing Projects in Colorado

Kevin Duncan, Ph.D. (June 2011)

The Benefits of State Prevailing Wage Laws; Better Jobs and More Productive Competition in the Construction Industry

Keystone Research Center (Oct. 2011)

The Adverse Economic Impact from Repeal of the Prevailing Wage Law in Missouri

Michael Kelsay, Ph.D., James Sturgeon, Ph.D., Kelly Pinkham, Ph.D. (December 2011)

 

2010 Studies & Reports

The Effect of Project Labor Agreements on the Cost of School Construction in Massachusetts

Dale Belman, Ph.D., Russell Ormiston, Ph.D., Richard Kelso, William Schriver and Kenneth A. Frank, Ph.D. (Jan. 2010)

Improving Workplace Conditions Through Strategic Enforcement: A Report to the Wage and Hour Division

David Weil, Principal Investigator- Boston University (May 2010)

Building Better: A Look at Best Practices for the Design of Project Labor Agreements

Dale Belman, Ph.D. and Matthew M. Bodah, Ph.D. (Aug. 2010)

 

 

2008 Studies & Reports

The Effect of Prevailing Wage Regulation on the Construction Industry in Iowa

Peter Philips, Ph.D. Professor of Economics, University of Utah (March 2008)

Prevailing Wages and Government Contracting Costs

Economic Policy Institute (July 2008)

Making Contracting Work for the United States – Government Spending Must Lead to Good Jobs

David Madland, Ph.D. and Michael Paarlberg, Ph.D. (Dec. 2008)

This article was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund

Enforcing Change – Five Strategies for the Obama Administration to Enforce Workers’ Rights at the Department of Labor

David Madland, Ph.D. and Karla Walter, M.S. (Dec. 2008)

This article was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund

 

2007 Studies & Reports

 New York State Workers’ Compensation: How Big Is the Coverage Shortfall?

Fiscal Policy Institute Report (Jan. 2007)

 

2006 Studies & Reports

Low Road Detour: How Repealing Prevailing Wage will hurt Kentucky

Peter Phillips, Ph.D. Professor of Economics, University of Utah (Jan. 2006)

The Economic Development Benefits of Prevailing Wage,

Fiscal Policy Institute (May 2006)

 An Evaluation of Prevailing Wage in Minnesota: Implementation, Comparability and Outcomes,

Lisa M. Jordan, Ph.D. Lead Researcher Additional Contributors: Robert Bruno, Ph.D., Phil Schrader, Tony Sindone, Ph.D. (Oct. 2006)

High Wages and Union Decline: Evidence from the Construction Industry

Dale Belman, Ph.D. and Paula B. Voos, Ph.D. (Sep. 2006)

 

2005 Studies & Reports

Prevailing Wage Laws and Minority Employment in Construction

Dale Belman, Ph.D. and Peter Phillips, Ph.D. (2005)

 

2004 Studies & Reports

Health Care Subsidies: Does the Public Sector Subsidize Low Wage Contractor

C. Jeffrey Wadsoups, Ph.D. (2004)

The Adverse Economic Impact from Repeal of the Prevailing Wage Law in Missouri

Michael P. Kelsay, Ph.D., Research Associate and Instructor, L. Randall Wray, Ph.D., Professor, Kelly D. Pinkham, M.S., Research Associate (Jan. 2004)

The High Road to a Competitive Economy

Harley Shaiken (Jan. 2004)

Wages, Productivity and Highway Construction Costs

Construction Labor Research Council (Mar. 2004)

 

2003 Studies & Reports

 State Prevailing Wage Laws and School Construction Costs

Hamid Azari-Rad, Ph.D., Peter Philips, Ph.D. and Mark J. Prus, Ph.D., Industrial Relations, Vol. 42, Issue 3 (July 2003)

 

2002 Studies & Reports

A Performance Audit of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Prevailing Wage Program

Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. (Feb. 2002)

Making Hay When It Rains: The Effect Prevailing Wage Regulations, Scale Economies, Seasonal, Cyclical And Local Business Patterns Have On School Construction Costs

Hamid Azari-Rad, Ph.D., Peter Philips, Ph.D., and Mark J. Prus, Ph.D., Journal of Education Finance 27, pp. 997-1012 (Spring 2002)

Analysis on Claimed Cost Savings from Exempting School Construction from Prevailing Wage Requirements

Herbert Weisberg, Ph.D. (July 2002)

 

2001 Studies & Reports

Four Biases and a Funeral

Peter Philips, Ph.D. Professor of Economics, University of Utah (Feb. 2001)

Thoughtless Think Tanks

Peter Philips, Ph.D. Professor of Economics, University of Utah (Feb. 2001)

A Comparison of Public School Construction Costs In Three Midwestern States that Have Changed Their Prevailing Wage Laws in the 1990’s

Peter Philips, Ph.D. Professor of Economics, University of Utah (Feb. 2001)

Report on the Prevailing Wage Law of Nevada, Its History, Cost and Effects

Peter Philips, Ph.D. Professor of Economics, University of Utah (May 2001)

 

2000 Studies & Reports

The Repeal of the Prevailing Wage Law in Idaho: Economic Myths and Realities

Michael DiNoto and Steven Petersen, University of Idaho, Center for Business Development and Research (2000)

Oregon’s Prevailing Wage Law: Benefiting The Public, The Worker, And The Employer

Michael Sheehan, Ph.D., Oregon & Southwest Washington Fair Contracting Foundation (2000)

Health Care and Pension Benefits for Construction Workers: The Role of Prevailing Wage Laws

Jeffrey Petersen, Ph.D., Industrial Relations 39 (Apr. 2000)

Prevailing Wage Regulations and School Construction Costs: Evidence From British Columbia

Cihan Bilginsoy, Ph.D. and Peter Philips, Ph.D., Journal of Education Finance 24 (Winter 2000)

 

1999 Studies & Reports

Prevailing Wages

Peter Cockshaw, Construction Labor News and Opinion, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Mar. 1999)

Do Lower Prevailing Wages Reduce Public Construction Costs?

Howard Wial, Ph.D., Keystone Research Center (July 1999)

Kentucky’s Prevailing Wage Law: Its History, Purpose and Effect

Peter Philips, Ph.D., University of Utah (Nov. 1999)

A Summary and Critique of Oregon Boli’s

Michael F. Sheehan, Ph.D., Oregon (Jan. 1999)

Prevailing Wage Laws and School Construction Costs, an Analysis of Public School Construction in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic States

Mark J. Prus, Ph.D., Economics Department, State University of New York (Jan. 1999)

 

1998 Studies & Reports

Davis-Bacon Works, Prevailing Wage Laws are good for America

Professor Dale Belman, Ph.D., Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and Professor Peter Phillips, Ph.D., Economics Department, University of Utah (Feb. 1998)

Kansas and Prevailing Wage Legislation

Peter Philips, Ph.D., University of Utah (Feb. 1998)

Delaware’s Prevailing Wage Law

Peter Philips, Ph.D., University of Utah (May 1998)

Prevailing Wage Laws, Unions and Minority Employment in Construction

A Historical and Empirical Analysis

Professor Dale Belman, Ph.D., Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and Professor Peter Phillips, Ph.D., Economics Department, University of Utah (Feb. 1998)

 

1997 Studies & Reports

The Impact of Skills Development and Fair Wage Policy on Const. Cost in British Columbia

Roslyn Kunin, Ph.D., Roslyn Kunin & Associates, Vancouver, BC (May 1997)

 

1996 Studies & Reports

 Report on Brazier Construction Co vs Reich

Peter Philips, Ph.D., University of Utah (Feb. 1996)

The Effect of State Prevailing Wage Laws on Total Construction Costs

Mark J. Prus, Ph.D., State University of New York, Cortland, N.Y. (Jan. 1996)

Square Foot Construction Costs for Newly Constructed State and Local Schools, Offices and Warehouses in Nine Southwestern States

Peter Philips, Ph.D., University of Utah (Sep. 1996)

Prevailing Wage Laws and the California Economy

Michael Reich, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley (Feb. 1996)

HUD Audit Report

Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, cited at p.5 in Prevailing Wage Laws in Construction: The Costs of Repeal to Wisconsin, Dale Belman, Ph.D., and Paula Voos, Ph.D., The Institute for Wisconsin’s Future, University of Wisconsin, (Jan. 1996)

 

1995 Studies & Reports

Losing Ground: Lessons from the Repeal of Nine Little Davis-Bacon Acts

Garth Mangum, Ph.D., Peter Philips, Ph.D., Norm Waitzman, Ph.D., and Anne Yeagle, Ph.D., University of Utah. (Feb. 1995)

Congressional Black Caucus – Statement in Support of Davis-Bacon

Congressional Black Caucus (Dec. 1995)

The Davis Bacon: Act A Response to CATO Institute Attack

AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (1995)

The Davis Bacon Act a Closer Look

Anthony P. Carnevale, Ph.D., National Commission of Employment Policy, Statement presented to the United States Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee (Feb. 1995)

Prevailing Wage Laws

Mechanical Electrical Sheetmetal Alliance (Feb. 1995)

Wages, Productivity and Highway Construction Costs

National Alliance for Fair Contracting, Washington, D.C. (1995)

Prevailing Wage Laws in Construction: The Cost of Repeal to Wisconsin

Dale Belman, Ph.D., and Paula B. Voos, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (Oct. 1995)

 

1993 Studies & Reports

Rebuttal to Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimates of Davis-Bacon Repeal

Steven Allen, Ph.D. (May 1993)

The Effects of the Repeal of Utah’s Prevailing Wage Law

Hamid Azari-Rad, Ph.D., Anne Yeagle. Ph.D., and Peter Philips, Ph.D. (Nov. 1993)

 

APPRENTICESHIP STUDIES

Building Trades Apprentice Training in Massachusetts: An Analysis of Union and Non-Union Programs, 1997 – 2007

Labor Resource Center, University of Massachusetts Boston (Oct. 2008)

Analysis of Construction Industry Apprenticeship Programs in Indiana

Jeff Vincent, Ph.D., Indiana University Institute for the Study of Labor in Society (Apr. 2004)

 Building Trades Apprentice Training in West Virginia: A Comparison of Union and Non-Union Building Trades Programs in the 1990s

West Virginia University Extension Service, Institute for Labor Studies and Research (May 2002)

Construction Apprenticeship And Training In Pennsylvania

David H. Bradley, Ph.D., and Stephen A. Herzenberg, Ph.D., Keystone Research Center (2002)

Apprenticeship Training In The U.S. Construction Industry

Cihan Bilginsoy, Ph.D., University of Utah (Sep. 1998)

 Apprentice Training in the US Construction Industry

Cihan Bilginsoy, Ph.D., University of Utah (1998)

Apprentice Training in Kentucky: A Comparison of Union and Non-Union Programs in the Building Trades

William. J. Londrigan and Joseph B. Wise, Kentucky AFL-CIO (Mar. 1997)

 Apprenticeship Utilization in Washington State Programs in the Building and Construction Trades

Washington State Construction and Building Trades Council, AFL-CIO

 

WORKER MISCLASSIFICATION STUDIES

Report of the Ohio Attorney General on the Economic Impact of Misclassified Workers for State and Local Governments in  Ohio

Richard Cordray, Ohio Attorney General (Feb. 2009)

The Economic Costs of Employee Misclassification in the State of Illinois

Michael P. Kelsay, Ph.D., James I. Sturgeon, Ph.D., Kelly D. Pinkham, M.S., (Department of Economics University of Missouri-Kansas City) (Dec. 2006)

The Social and Economic Costs of Employee Misclassification in the Maine Construction Industry

Françoise Carré, Ph.D. and Randall Wilson, Ph.D., Center for Social Policy, McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies – University of Massachusetts Boston (2005)

The Social and Economic Costs of Employee Misclassification in Construction

Elaine Bernard, Ph.D. Robert Herrick, Sc.D., Francoise Carre, Ph.D.; Randall Wilson, Ph.D., (University of Massachusetts, Boston; Construction Policy Research Center Labor and Work life Program, Harvard Law School and Harvard School of Public Health) (2004).

These last two studies have taken a first and significant step in documenting employee misclassification in the Massachusetts and Maine construction industries. Misclassification occurs when employers treat workers who would otherwise be waged or salaried employees as independent contractors (self-employed). Forces promoting employee misclassification include the desire to avoid the costs of payroll taxes and of mandated benefits. Employee misclassification creates severe challenges for workers, employers, and insurers as well as for policy enforcement. This report documents the dimensions of misclassification and its implications for Unemployment Insurance and Income tax collection and for worker compensation insurance.

 

LIVING WAGE STUDIES

Because living wage laws are similar to prevailing wage laws, these studies provide data and policy arguments in defense of prevailing wage laws as well as living wage laws.

A Report on the Direct and Indirect Effects of Prevailing Wage Legislations on Society

Sankar Mukhopadhyay, Ph.D., Thomas Harris, Ph.D., and Nathan Wiseman, Ph.D.

The Forgotten Workforce: More Than One in 10 Federal Contract Workers Earn Less Than a Living Wage

Chauna Brocht, Economic Policy Institute (Nov. 2000)

Choosing the High Road: Businesses That Pay a Living Wage and Prosper

Karen Kraut, Scott Klinger and Chuck Collins (from Responsible Wealth, a project of United for a Fair Economy) (2000)

 Impact of Detroit’s Living Wage Law on Non-Profit Organizations

Wayne State University’s Labor Studies Center (2000)

 Higher Wages Lead to More Efficient Service Provision – The Impact of Living Wage Ordinances on the Contracting Process

Jared Bernstein (2000)

The Effects of the Living Wage in Baltimore

Christopher Niedt, Greg Ruiters, Dana Wise, and Erica Shoenberger Working Paper 119, Economic Policy Institute (February 1999)

The Living Wage Movement: Pointing the Way Toward the High Road

Jared Bernstein, Ph.D., Community Action Digest, Vol. 1, Issue 1 (Spring 1999)

Montgomery County Stands to Benefit From a Living Wage – Jared Bernstein and Chauna Brocht

Maryland’s Montgomery Gazette (July 23, 1999)

The Impact of the Detroit Living Wage Ordinance

Wayne State University’s Labor Studies Center (1999)

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