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Is Wal-Mart a Monopsony? Evidence from Local Labor Markets

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  • Bonanno, Alessandro
  • Lopez, Rigoberto A.

Abstract

This paper measures the degree of monopsony power exerted by Wal-Mart over retail workers using a dominant-firm model and data in the 48 contiguous U.S. states for counties where the company operates, presenting for the first time a measure of the company’s anticompetitive behavior. Empirical results show that Wal-Mart’s monopsony power over workers varies significantly across the country, being higher in non-metro and rural counties, particularly in the south. For instance, Wal-Mart’s buying power index in labor markets in rural southern and central states is estimated to be 5% or higher while the impact on northeastern states’ retail wages is negligible.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/51289
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China with number 51289.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae09:51289

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Keywords: Wal-Mart; monopsony power; wages; labor; retailing; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Industrial Organization; Labor and Human Capital; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods; J42; L13; L81;

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  1. Emek Basker, 2002. "Job Creation or Destruction? Labor-Market Effects of Wal-Mart Expansion," Working Papers 0215, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, revised 14 Jan 2004.
  2. Neumark, David & Zhang, Junfu & Ciccarella, Stephen, 2008. "The effects of Wal-Mart on local labor markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 405-430, March.
  3. Emek Basker, 2007. "When Good Instruments Go Bad," Working Papers 0706, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  4. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and lovely jobs: the rising polarization of work in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20002, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Jerry Hausman & Ephraim Leibtag, 2007. "Consumer benefits from increased competition in shopping outlets: Measuring the effect of Wal-Mart," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 1157-1177.
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  7. Dube, Arindrajit & Lester, T. William & Eidlin, Barry, 2007. "Firm Entry and Wages: Impact of Wal-Mart Growth on Earnings Throughout the Retail Sector," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt22s5k4pv, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  8. R)chard E. Quandt & Harvey S. Rosen, 1989. "Endogenous Output in an Aggregate Model of the Labor Market," NBER Technical Working Papers 0074, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Baker, Jonathan B. & Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1988. "Estimating the residual demand curve facing a single firm," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 283-300.
  10. Noel, Michael & Basker, Emek, 2007. "The Evolving Food Chain: Competitive Effects of Wal-Mart's Entry Into The Supermarket Industry," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt4nq8d4sm, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  11. Maarten Goos & Alan Manning, 2003. "Lousy and Lovely Jobs: the Rising Polarization of Work in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0604, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  12. Paul W. Bauer & Yoonsoo Lee, 2006. "Estimating GSP and labor productivity by state," Policy Discussion Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Mar.
  13. 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.
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