Rationales for Preserving the Prevailing Wage

At bottom, there are two main rationales for the enactment and retention of prevailing wage laws. The first is based on notions of social justice and the desire to protect workers on government projects from having their wages undercut as a result of “cutthroat” competition in bidding. The second rationale is that by establishing a wage floor for construction labor, governments encourage the development of a highly skilled construction labor force that is more productive, suffers from fewer workplace injuries and constructs higher-quality buildings.