Research Reports

ILEPI Research Reports provide highly-technical analyses with academic affiliates to assess public policies and economic phenomena, contributing to the extant academic literature. Though advanced in statistical approach, each Research Report is intended to be accessible to the public and to lawmakers.


The State of the Unions 2017: A Profile of Unionization in Chicago, in Illinois, and in America


The $5 Billion Cost of Construction Fatalities in the United States: A 50 State Comparison


In Support of Route 53/120: Understanding the Transportation, Economic, and Local Impacts of a Modern Roadway


The Economic, Fiscal, and Social Effects of Ohio’s Prevailing Wage Law: Research Report


The Impact of “Right-to-Work” Laws on Labor Market Outcomes in Three Midwest States: Evidence from Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin (2010-2016)




Union Decline and Economic Redistribution: A Report on Twelve Midwest States


Policies to Reduce African-American Unemployment: Investments in Education, Infrastructure, Public Employment, and Housing


The Economic, Fiscal, and Social Effects of Kentucky’s Prevailing Wage Law: Research Report


The Impact of Apprenticeship Programs in Illinois: An Analysis of Economic and Social Effects


The Prevailing Wage is the Local Market Rate: Employment and Job Turnover Evidence from the Border of Illinois


The Costs and Benefits of International Trade in Illinois: Estimating Impacts on Manufacturing and the Economy


The Impact of Prevailing Wage Laws on Military Veterans: An Economic and Labor Market Analysis


The Impact of Prevailing Wage Laws on Military Veterans: Report Fact Sheet


The State of the Unions 2016: A Profile of Unionization in Chicago, in Illinois, and in America


The State of the Unions 2016: A Profile of Unionization in the Twin Cities, in Minnesota, and in America


The State of the Unions 2016: A Profile of Unionization in Milwaukee, in Wisconsin, and in the United States


The State of the Unions 2016: A Profile of Unionization in Indianapolis, in Indiana, and in America


The State of the Unions 2016: A Profile of Unionization in Iowa and America


An Analysis of the Impact of Prevailing Wage Thresholds On Public Construction: Implications for Illinois


The History of Economic Inequality in Illinois: 1850 – 2014


The Economic, Fiscal, and Social Impacts of State Prevailing Wage Laws: Choosing Between the High Road and the Low Road in the Construction Industry


Towards the High Road in the New Hampshire Construction Industry: The Impact of a State Prevailing Wage Law


A Flowing Economy: How Clean Water Infrastructure Investments Support Good Jobs in Chicago and in Illinois


Policies that Support Employment: Investments in Public Education, Investments in Public Infrastructure, and a Balanced State Budget


The Cost of Repealing Michigan’s Prevailing Wage Policy: Impacts on Total Construction Costs and Economic Activity


The State of the Unions 2015: A Profile of Unionization in Chicago, in Illinois, and in America


The Impact of Local “Right-to-Work” Zones: Predicting Outcomes for Workers, the Economy, and Tax Revenues in Illinois


Free-Rider States: How Low-Wage Employment in “Right-to-Work” States Is Subsidized by the Economic Benefits of Collective Bargaining


Common Sense Construction: The Economic Impacts of Indiana’s Common Construction Wage


The State of the Unions 2014: A Profile of Unionization in Chicago, in Illinois, and in America


Minimum Wage, Maximum Benefit: How a $10 Wage Floor Impacts All Workers and the Economy


A Weakened State: The Economic and Social Impacts of Repeal of the Prevailing Wage Law in Illinois


Which Labor Market Institutions Reduce Income Inequality? Labor Unions, Prevailing Wage Laws, and Right-to-Work Laws in the Construction Industry


Policy Briefs

ILEPI Policy Briefs provide original analyses on policies, practices, and projects of strategic interest. Policy Briefs typically conclude with detailed recommendations for policymakers and lawmakers.


A Comparison of Highway Construction Costs in the Midwest and Nationally: Policy Brief


HB 1002 (Indiana): Investing in Indiana’s Future


Alternative State and Local Options to Fund Public K-12 Education in Illinois: Policy Brief


A Highly Educated Classroom: Illinois Teachers Are Not Overpaid


Illinois’ Two-Headed Beast: Unfunded Pension Liabilities and Unfunded Infrastructure Needs


Prevailing Wage and Military Veterans in Minnesota: Applied Policy Brief


Prevailing Wage and Military Veterans in Wisconsin: Applied Policy Brief


The Impact of Construction Union Dues in Minnesota: An Organizational and Individual-Level Analysis


Better Roads Ahead: Vote YES on the Illinois Transportation Funds Amendment


A Minimum-Wage Worker Cannot Afford a Modest Apartment: Evidence from Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Iowa


A Corporate Welfare Program That Illinois Cannot Afford: The Retailer’s Discount Costs Over $100 Million a Year


Analysis of Graduated Income Tax Proposal: Amendment to House Bill 689


The Application and Impact of Labor Union Dues in Illinois: An Organizational and Individual-Level Analysis


Revenue Solutions to the State Budget Crisis in Illinois: A Comparative Evaluation


The Impacts of New Mexico House Bills 110 & 200 (2016): Policy Brief


Illinois Can No Longer Afford to Be a Donor State: Illinois Ranks 46th in Federal Funding


The I-RIDE Proposal: Policy Brief Version 2.0


Road and Bridge Construction Workers in the Midwest: Productive, High-Skilled, and Well-Paid


A Turnaround or a Turn Aground? Fact Checking Governor Rauner’s First Claims


The IN-RIDE Proposal: A Modern, Sustainable Policy to Fund Transportation Infrastructure


Self-Sufficient Construction Workers: Why Prevailing Wage Laws are the Best Deal for Taxpayers


Collaborative Development: The Pros and Cons of P3s on Construction Projects


The Benefits of Doing Business in Illinois: Policy Brief


In Defense of the Illiana Expressway: Benefits to Workers, Businesses, and Families


The Benefits of the Illiana Expressway: An Opportunity for Indiana


A Weakened State: The Economic and Social Impacts of Repeal of the Prevailing Wage Law in Illinois


The Economic Effects of Adopting a Right-to-Work Law: Implications for Illinois


Economic Commentaries

ILEPI Economic Commentaries provide a snapshot into particular policies, practices, or the aspects of the Illinois economy. In each report, ILEPI investigates the facts, informing the public and lawmakers on the condition of the topic of interest.


Full-Time Incomes in Illinois: How Are You Doing This Tax Season?


The High Cost of Construction Injuries and Fatalities: A Case Study of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin


Gas Taxes in the United States and Globally: Failing to Address Transportation Infrastructure


Road and Bridge Report: Wisconsin vs. Illinois vs. Iowa


Nuclear Energy in Illinois: The Foundation of a Clean Energy Future


Weakening Waukesha County: Prevailing Wage Changes Will Hurt the County


Prevailing Wage Repeal Cannot Result in “44 Percent Savings”: Evidence from Southwestern Wisconsin


The Views of Economics and Policy Academics in Illinois: 2016-2017 School Year


Construction Careers versus Construction Jobs: A Case Study of Two Construction Sectors in the Twin Cities Region


School Construction and Prevailing Wage in Minnesota: Economic Commentary


The Energy Sector in Illinois: Getting Down and Dirty on Clean Energy Opportunities in Illinois


The Energy Sector in Minnesota: Getting Down and Dirty on Clean Energy Opportunities in Minnesota


The Status of Female Workers in Illinois: Overrepresented in Unstable, Lower-Paying Sectors


Building a Strong Winnebago County: How Prevailing Wage Works


The Most Equal and Unequal Jobs in Illinois: Occupational Employment Statistics


Wind Power and the Illinois Economy: Summary of Impacts


Weakening Prevailing Wage Hurts Local Contractors and Workers: A Case Study from Southern Indiana


Obesity in America and Illinois: Reducing Obesity Can Benefit the Economy


States with Higher Minimum Wages Added More Jobs: April 2015 – April 2016


The Rise of Wage Inequality in Illinois: In Two Graphs


Road Infrastructure Investment Summary: Illinois vs. Texas


Insuring Illinois: The Affordable Care Act Has Expanded Health Coverage


Two Sides of the Same Gold Coin: School Construction and Water Quality Projects in Iowa


A $10 Billion Loss: Illinois’ Motor Fuel Tax Should Have an Inflationary Adjustment


Competency Needed: Addressing Iowa’s Skilled Construction Worker Shortage


Stop Saying that Illinois is Bad for Business: The Data Show Otherwise


Causes of Indiana’s Road Funding Gap: Inflation, Fuel Efficiency, and Inaction


The Cost of Construction Injuries and Fatalities in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa: Economic Commentary


The Views of Economics and Policy Academics in Illinois: Economic Commentary


Collective-Bargaining, Right-to-Work, and the Business Location of America’s Top Companies: Economic Commentary


Unions Can Increase Efficiency: Ten Examples


Building a Strong Lake County: How Prevailing Wage Works


Localized Disempowerment: The Movement to Implement Right-to-Work ‘Zones’


Building a Strong DuPage County: How Prevailing Wage Works


Building a Strong Kane County: How Prevailing Wage Works


Efficiencies of Project Labor Agreements: Illinois Capital Development Board Projects, 2011-2013

The Major Victims of Right-to-Work Laws: Construction Workers


The Distribution of I-RIDE Revenues: 2015 Local Allotments


Illinois Income Report: How Are You Doing This Tax Season?


Infrastructure Investment and Public Safety Spending: Economic Impacts for Illinois


Prevailing Wage Laws, Contractor Profits, and the Economic Pie: Economic Commentary


Illinois Teens and the Minimum Wage: The Impacts of Minimum Wage Hikes, 2004-2013


The Pay of Union Leaders: Debunking the “Big” Labor Myth


Building a Strong McHenry: How Prevailing Wage Works


P3s: Where Wall Street Meets Main Street


Illinois Federal Income Taxes: By Occupation, 2011-2013.


Union and Nonunion Households: General Social Survey, 2000-2012


Broken Promises: Right-to-Work’s Early Track Record in Indiana


A State of Lost Labor: Who Are the Unemployed in Illinois?


The State of Working Illinois 2013: Labor in the Land of Lincoln


Illiana Expressway Jobs: Summary of Job Creation Estimates


Increasing Horizontal Construction through the Gas Tax: Benefits to Clinton County, IA


Vehicular Infrastructure Investment: Illinois vs. Missouri


Highway Construction Costs: How Does Illinois Compare?


Off-Roading?: Analyzing Diversions from Illinois’ Road Fund


The Proper Role of Government in the Economy: Economic Commentary


Policy Presentations

The Economic and Social Impact of Apprenticeship Programs: PowerPoint


Labor Costs in the Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction Sector: PowerPoint


The I-RIDE Proposal: ILEPI-IIIFFC PowerPoint


The Negative Impacts of “Right-to-Work” Laws: PowerPoint


The Economic Effects of Prevailing Wages: PowerPoint


Testimonies Powered by ILEPI

Union Membership Declined in “Right-to-Work” States and Increased in Collective-Bargaining States Last Year: Policy Memo


Responsible Bidder Ordinances are Protection Plans for Taxpayers, Providing the Highest Value at the Lowest Cost: Policy Memo


The H-2B Guest Worker Program Unnecessarily Lowers Construction Worker Wages in Illinois: Policy Memo


Transportation and Construction in Illinois: Fact Sheet


Prevailing Wage Laws and “Right-to-Work” Laws: Fact Sheet


U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce: Robert Bruno on “Right-to-Work”


McHenry County College Board of Trustees: Frank Manzo IV on Prevailing Wage


Illinois Senate: Marc Poulos on Prevailing Wage

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