Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Alfred E. Thal, PhD.


The United States government spends millions of dollars on construction every year. Each construction project paid for by the government is subject to the requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act (DBA). The DBA is a federal law that sets minimum wages, called prevailing wages, for construction workers. This research used the geographic information system ArcGISTM to compare wages based on DBA requirements to wages earned by construction workers on non-federal projects not subject to DBA requirements. The research studied wages of eight different construction trades at all active military installations in the United States and compared the two wages to determine if there was a significant difference, and if so, what it was. It also determined the existence of any spatial relationships between the wage differences. The research also applied its findings to the U.S. Air Force's construction budget for Fiscal Year 2012 to determine the amount spend based on DBA requirements. The research found that DBA wages are statistically higher for seven of the eight trades, which differs based on the trade, and confirmed the existence of several spatial relationships. The research concluded that the Air Force spent over $60 million in Fiscal Year 2012 based solely on DBA requirements.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number