Prevailing wage laws affecting the construction industry in the United States exist at the Federal and State levels. These laws require that construction workers employed by contractors on government works be paid at least the wage rates and fringe benefits 'prevailing' for similar work where government contract work is performed. The federal law (Davis-Bacon Act) was passed in 1931. By 1969 four fifth of States had enacted prevailing wage legislation. In the 1970s, facing fiscal crises, States considered repealing their laws in an effort to reduce construction costs, and since 1979 nine States have repealed their laws. These repeals at State level along with unsuccessful attempts to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act have pushed prevailing wages to the forefront of public policy and controversy. This book, for the first time, brings together scholarly research in the economics of prevailing wages placed in historical and institutional context.
About the Author
Hamid Azari-Rad is Assistant Professor at The State University of New York in New Paltz, USA. Professor Peter Philips is from the Department of Economics at the University of Utah, USA. Mark J. Prus is from the Department of Economics at The State University of New York in Cortland, USA.
Table of ContentsContents: Historical Context For Public Policy: Introduction: prevailing wage regulations and public policy in the construction industry, Hamid Azari-Rad, Peter Philips and Mark J. Prus; The American construction industry: an overview, Gerald Finkel; Thoughtless think tanks: sound bite thinking about the history and intent of prevailing wage laws, Hamid Azari-Rad and Peter Philips; Prevailing wage laws, unions, and minority employment in construction, Dale Belman. Public Policy: Costs, Skills, And Safety: Prevailing wage laws and construction costs: evidence from British Columbia's skills development and fair wage policy, Kevin Duncan and Mark J. Prus; Wage regulation and training: the impact of State prevailing wage laws on apprenticeship, Cihan Bilginsoy; Prevailing wage laws and injury rates in construction, Hamid Azari-Rad. Public Policy: Compensations: Benefits vs. wages: how prevailing wage laws affect the mix and magnitude of compensation to construction workers, Jeffrey S. Petersen and Erin M. Godtland; Health care subsidies in construction: does the public sector subsidize low wage contractors? C. Jeffrey Waddoups; Pension and health insurance coverage in construction labor markets, Mark A. Price; Index.