NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Prevailing Wage Laws and Construction Labor Markets

Daniel P. Kessler, Lawrence Katz

NBER Working Paper No. 7454
Issued in December 1999
NBER Program(s):   LE   LS

Prevailing wage laws, which require that construction workers employed by private contractors on public projects be paid at least the wages and benefits that are "prevailing" for similar work in or near the locality in which the project is located, have been the focus of an extensive policy debate. We find that the relative wages of construction workers decline slightly after the repeal of a state prevailing wage law. However, the small overall impact of law repeal masks substantial differences in outcomes for different groups of construction employees. Repeal is associated with a sizeable reduction in the union wage premium and a significant narrowing of the black/nonblack wage differential for construction workers.

download in pdf format
   (65 K)

email paper

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the May 2000 NBER digest.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Digest by email.

This paper is available as PDF (65 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7454

Published: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 54, no. 2 (January 2001): 259-274

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Allen w2320 Declining Unionization in Construction: The Facts and the Reasons
Neumark and Wascher w3859 Evidence on Employment Effects of Minimum Wages and Subminimum Wage Provisions From Panel Data on State Minimum Wage Laws
Blanchflower and Wainwright w11793 An Analysis of the Impact of Affirmative Action Programs on Self-Employment in the Construction Industry
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us