Economic Analyses of Historically Disadvantaged Business Enterprises

Capabilities and Services

The elimination of many disadvantaged business enterprise programs following the Supreme Court's ruling in City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co. appeared to indicate that the Court's "strict scrutiny" guidelines were so severe as to be beyond the reach of the public contracting system. Numerous cities, states, and other local entities attempted to use disparity studies to demonstrate statistical and anecdotal evidence of a systematic exclusion of minority businesses from subcontracting opportunities-without success.

However, recent courtroom wins suggest that many of the programs that were struck down were likely the victims of a number of correctable research methodology pitfalls, including poorly designed surveys, misguided approaches to data gathering, and unqualified consultants. Successful program defenses are now being built on a foundation of support from economic consultants with the necessary quantitative expertise and testifying experience to stand up to constitutional scrutiny.