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


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.

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Azari-rad, H., Philips, P. Race and prevailing wage laws in the construction industry: Comment on Thieblot. J Labor Res 24, 161–168 (2003).

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  • Labor Force
  • Relative Employment
  • Legal Regime
  • Black Worker
  • Sector Ratio