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The Declining Status of Minorities in the New York City Construction Industry

Timothy Bates () and David Howell ()

Economic Development Quarterly, 1998, vol. 12, issue 1, 88-100

Abstract: Does the employment status of minorities suffer when government downplays affirmative action efforts? This study analyzes the relative status of minority businesses and construction employees in New York City's construction industry. Ed Koch, New York City mayor from 1978 to 1990, chose to downplay the active affirmative action efforts of his predecessors. We find that Black employees lost ground relative to Whites, particularly in the construction-skilled trades. Furthermore, minority-owned small businesses in construction are shown to be smaller, more failure-prone, and less viable overall, relative to White firms generally and woman-owned businesses specifically. Absent affirmative pressure from government, minorities are unlikely to make progress or even hold their own in the New York City area construction industry.

Date: 1998
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DOI: 10.1177/089124249801200107

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Handle: RePEc:sae:ecdequ:v:12:y:1998:i:1:p:88-100