Journal of Labor Research

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 161–168 | Cite as

Race and prevailing wage laws in the construction industry: Comment on Thieblot

  • Hamid Azari-rad
  • Peter Philips


Using the 1990 Census of Population, Thieblot (1999) argued that black employment and the strength of the prevailing wage laws are correlated and that repeal of these laws would lead to higher black employment in construction. Analysis of the 1970 Census of Population reveals that the relative abundance of black construction workers in the group of states that eventually would repeal their laws preceded those repeals and that this is mainly due to the characteristics of Southern labor markets. This and other research cast doubt on both the strength and the existence of such a correlation.


Labor Force Relative Employment Legal Regime Black Worker Sector Ratio 
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  1. Kessler, Daniel P. and Lawrence F. Katz. “Prevailing Wage Laws and Construction Labor Markets.” Industrial and Labor Relations Review 54 (January 2001): 268–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Thieblot A. J. “Prevailing Wage Laws and Black Employment in the Construction Industry.” Journal of Labor Research 20 (Winter 1999): 155–59.Google Scholar
  3. —. Prevailing Wage Legislation: The Davis-Bacon Act, State 'Little Davis-Bacon 'Acts, and the Service Contract Act. Labor Relations and Public Policy Series No. 27. Philadelphia: Wharton Industrial Research Unit, University of Pennsylvania, 1985.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hamid Azari-rad
    • 1
  • Peter Philips
    • 2
  1. 1.State University of New YorkNew Paltz
  2. 2.University of UtahSalt Lake City

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