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The effects of Wal-Mart on local labor markets

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  • Neumark, David
  • Zhang, Junfu
  • Ciccarella, Stephen

Abstract

We estimate the effects of Wal-Mart stores on county-level retail employment and earnings, accounting for endogeneity of the location and timing of Wal-Mart openings that most likely biases the evidence against finding adverse effects of Wal-Mart stores. We address the endogeneity problem using a natural instrumental variables approach that arises from the geographic and time pattern of the opening of Wal-Mart stores, which slowly spread out from the first stores in Arkansas. The employment results indicate that a Wal-Mart store opening reduces county-level retail employment by about 150 workers, implying that each Wal-Mart worker replaces approximately 1.4 retail workers. This represents a 2.7 percent reduction in average retail employment. The payroll results indicate that Wal-Mart store openings lead to declines in county-level retail earnings of about $1.4 million, or 1.5 percent. Of course, these effects occurred against a backdrop of rising retail employment, and only imply lower retail employment growth than would have occurred absent the effects of Wal-Mart.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 63 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 405-430

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:63:y:2008:i:2:p:405-430

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

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Keywords: Wal-Mart Employment Earnings;

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  1. Jerry Hausman & Ephraim Leibtag, 2005. "Consumer Benefits from Increased Competition in Shopping Outlets: Measuring the Effect of Wal-Mart," NBER Working Papers 11809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jerry Hausman & Ephraim Leibtag, 2004. "CPI Bias from Supercenters: Does the BLS Know that Wal-Mart Exists?," NBER Working Papers 10712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  4. Emek Basker, 2004. "Selling a Cheaper Mousetrap: Wal-Marts Effect on Retail Prices," Working Papers 0401, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, revised 16 Mar 2004.
  5. Emek Basker, 2003. "Job Creation or Destruction? Labor-Market Effects of Wal-Mart Expansion," Labor and Demography 0303002, EconWPA, revised 11 Mar 2005.
  6. John Chao & Norman Swanson, 2003. "Alternative Approximations of the Bias and MSE of the IV Estimator Under Weak Identification With an Application to Bias Correction," Departmental Working Papers 200315, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  7. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Khanna, Naveen & Tice, Sheri, 2000. "Strategic Responses of Incumbents to New Entry: The Effect of Ownership Structure, Capital Structure, and Focus," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(3), pages 749-79.
  9. Thomas J. Holmes, 2006. "The Diffusion of Wal-Mart and Economies of Density," 2006 Meeting Papers 15, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Naveen Khanna, 2001. "The Bright Side of Internal Capital Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1489-1528, 08.
  11. Hicks, Michael J. & Wilburn, Kristy L., 2001. "The Regional Impact of Wal-Mart Entrance: A Panel Study of the Retail Trade Sector in West Virginia," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 31(3), pages 305-313, Winter.
  12. Barnes, Nora Ganim & Connell, Allison & Hermenegildo, Lisa & Mattson, Lucinda, 1996. "Regional differences in the economic impact of Wal-Mart," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 21-25.
  13. Michael J. Hicks & Kristy Wilburn, 2005. "The Locational Impact of Wal-Mart Entrance: A Panel Study of the Retail Trade Sector in West Virginia," Urban/Regional 0511011, EconWPA.
  14. Panle Jia, 2008. "What Happens When Wal-Mart Comes to Town: An Empirical Analysis of the Discount Retailing Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1263-1316, November.
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  1. Head-Roc: Wal-Mart Is the 1 Percent
    by Head-Roc in huffington post business on 2011-11-18 21:11:55
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