The prospect of attaining cost-savings was a significant source of motivation for repealing the prevailing wage requirement for bids on state and local public projects in Wisconsin. However, speculation on the economic impact of this policy change is mixed. Some analysts argue repeal of the state prevailing wage law leads to lower labor costs, and hence lower total project costs generating savings to taxpayers Other analysts argue any potential cost-savings associated with lower wages are more than offset by the increased employment of less productive workers by companies paying lower wages. This project empirically examines the immediate effect of repeal on construction costs as well as its effect on other economic outcomes for state and local projects in Wisconsin.

Project Documents

  • Research Brief (coming soon)
  • Final Report (coming soon)

Project Details


Start Date
October 1, 2020

End Date
June 30, 2021

Focus Areas
Data Analytics, Modeling and Simulation
Economy and Policy

Wisconsin Infrastructure Investment Now

Research Centers
Institute for Physical Infrastructure and Transportation (IPIT)

Principal Investigator

Peoples, James
Professor, Economics University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Co-Principal Investigator

Gottlieb, Mark
Associate Director, Institute for Physical Infrastructure and Transportation (IPIT)