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Wage differential studies are prone to two primary areas of criticism. The first is the way in which some of them calculate the additional wages resulting from prevailing wage regulations. The GAO and Beacon Hill studies’ results are based on contracts in which, the authors assert, prevailing wages were miscalculated. But miscalculation of wages under prevailing wage laws is an implementation problem that does not reflect the merits of the laws themselves. Further, with regard to the GAO study, the Department of Labor and other critics argued in congressional testimony that the GAO’s methodology was fraught with poor scholarship. Why did the agency exclude the 18 projects for which prevailing wages were set too low? The inclusion of these projects might have offered an entirely different picture of the net impact of the Davis-Bacon law. GAO also acknowledged that its sample of projects was too small for its calculations to have statistical validity. Mackinac (Vedder 1999) assumed that a wage differential in the Detroit suburbs would be the same in the rest of the state, but did not test this assumption.
De Rotterdamse econoom is te herkennen aan zijn/haar daadkracht, doorzettingsvermogen, inzet en academische houding. Niet alleen de vraag van nu verdient de aandacht, ook aan mogelijke oplossingen voor toekomstige vraagstukken wordt gedacht.
Dr Daniel Reck received a PhD in economics from the University of Michigan in 2016, and spent a year as a post-doctoral scholar at the University of California Berkeley. His research interests are in behavioral economics and public economics, with topics ranging from offshore tax evasion to the application of insights from behavioral economics to policymaking. He will be teaching Public Economics.