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Firm Entry and Wages: Impact of Wal-Mart Growth on Earnings Throughout the Retail Sector

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  • Dube, Arindrajit
  • Lester, T. William
  • Eidlin, Barry

Abstract

This paper estimates the effect of Wal-Mart expansion on wages, benefits, and skill-composition of retail workers during the 1990s. We exploit the spatial pattern of Wal-Mart diffusion, radiating outward from the original store in Benton county, Arkansas, to control for potential endogeneity in store openings using both instrumental variable and control function approaches. Estimates from state and county level data suggest that store openings reduced both the average earnings and health benefits of retail workers. At the county level, a new Wal-Mart is found to reduce retail earnings, on average, by .5 to .9 percent. Moreover, we find that changes in skill-composition explain only a small part of compensation reduction, indicating that the decline in retail wages reflect a reduction in labor market rents.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt22s5k4pv.

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Date of creation: 06 Aug 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt22s5k4pv

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Keywords: JEL31; JEL38; JEL81;

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References

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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. 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.
  3. Davis, Elizabeth E. & Freedman, Matthew & Lane, Julia & McCall, Brian P. & Nestoriak, Nicole & Park, Timothy A., 2005. "Product Market Competition and Human Resource Practices: An Analysis of the Retail Food Sector," Working Papers 14349, University of Minnesota, The Food Industry Center.
  4. 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.
  5. Emek Basker, 2006. "The Causes and Consequences of Wal-Mart's Growth," Working Papers 0611, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  6. 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.
  7. Garen, John, 1984. "The Returns to Schooling: A Selectivity Bias Approach with a Continuous Choice Variable," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(5), pages 1199-1218, September.
  8. Fredrik Andersson & Harry J. Holzer & Julia I. Lane, 2002. "The interactions of workers and firms in the low-wage labor market," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Charles J. Courtemanche & Art Carden, 2011. "Competing with Costco and Sam's Club: Warehouse Club Entry and Grocery Prices," NBER Working Papers 17220, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Courtemanche, Charles & Carden, Art, 2008. "Supersizing Supercenters? The Impact of Wal-Mart Supercenters on Body Mass Index and Obesity," Working Papers 09-3, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics, revised 29 Jan 2009.
  3. Glandon, PJ & Jaremski, Matthew, 2012. "Sales and Firm Entry: The Case of Wal-Mart," Working Papers 2012-03, Department of Economics, Colgate University.
  4. Bonanno, Alessandro & Lopez, Rigoberto A., 2008. "Wal-Mart’s Monopsony Power in Local Labor Markets," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6219, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  5. Stone, Kenneth E. & Artz, Georgeanne M., 2012. "Revisiting Wal-Mart’s Impact on Iowa Small Town Retail: Twenty-Five Years Later," Staff General Research Papers 35203, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  6. Art Carden & Charles Courtemanche & Jeremy Meiners, 2009. "Does Wal-Mart reduce social capital?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 109-136, January.
  7. Stone, Kenneth E. & Artz, Georgeanne M., 2012. "Revisiting Wal-Mart’s Impact on Iowa Small Town Retail: Twenty-Five Years Later," Staff General Research Papers 35202, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  8. Courtemanche, Charles & Carden, Art, 2009. "The skinny on big box retailing: Wal-Mart, warehouse clubs, and obesity," MPRA Paper 25326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Bonanno, Alessandro & Lopez, Rigoberto A., 2009. "Is Wal-Mart a Monopsony? Evidence from Local Labor Markets," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51289, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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