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Lessons for Post-Katrina Reconstruction: A High-Road vs. Low-Road Recovery

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Publication Date: October 2005

Publisher(s): Economic Policy Institute

Author(s): Peter Philips

Topic: Economics (Infrastructure)
Labor (Employment and labor supply)

Type: Brief


The rebuilding of highways in Los Angeles, Calif. after the 1994 Northridge earthquake provides valuable lessons for the post-Katrina/Rita reconstruction effort. Foremost among those lessons is that competitive bidding and enforcement of labor standards such as the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage law can help ensure that work is done expeditiously, safely, cost effectively, and with maximum benefit to the local population.

The Northridge experience disproves claims that Davis- Bacon generates excessive paperwork, costs, or delays.