State Prevailing Wage Laws and School Construction Costs

13 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2003

See all articles by Hamid Azari-Rad

Hamid Azari-Rad

State University of New York, New Paltz - Department of Economics

Peter Philips

University of Utah - College of Social & Behavioral Sciences - Department of Economics

Mark J. Prus

State University of New York - SUNY Cortland

Abstract

Critics of prevailing wage laws claim that their elimination will cut total public construction costs by 15 to 25 percent. Justification for this assertion may be found in a 1983 study comparing the cost of public construction regulated by the Davis-Bacon Act with the cost of similar private construction. However, this study failed to account for the difference in the cost of public and private buildings absent. Using F. W. Dodge data for 1991 to 1999, we show that the inclusion of the appropriate controls in a study of new school construction costs finds no statistically significant difference between the cost of public schools built with prevailing wage regulations.

Suggested Citation

Azari-Rad, Hamid and Philips, Peter and Prus, Mark J., State Prevailing Wage Laws and School Construction Costs. Industrial Relations, Vol. 42, pp. 445-457, July 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=416151

Hamid Azari-Rad (Contact Author)

State University of New York, New Paltz - Department of Economics ( email )

75 S. Manheim Blvd.
JFT 800
New Paltz, NY 12561
United States
845-257-2944 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www2.newpaltz.edu/~azarih/

Peter Philips

University of Utah - College of Social & Behavioral Sciences - Department of Economics ( email )

1645 Central Campus Dr.
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States
801-585-6465 (Phone)

Mark J. Prus

State University of New York - SUNY Cortland ( email )

School of Arts and Sciences
Cortland, NY 13045
United States
845-753-4312 (Phone)

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