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The Effects of Wal-Mart on Local Labor Markets

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  • David Neumark
  • Junfu Zhang
  • Stephen Ciccarella

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

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11782.

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Date of creation: Nov 2005
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Publication status: published as Journal of Urban Economics. Volume 67, Issue 1 (2010), pages 1-168
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11782

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  1. Basker, Emek, 2005. "Selling a cheaper mousetrap: Wal-Mart's effect on retail prices," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 203-229, September.
  2. 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.
  3. 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., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 1157-1177.
  4. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Naveen Khanna, 2001. "The Bright Side of Internal Capital Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1489-1528, 08.
  6. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  7. 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.
  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. John C. Chao & Norman Rasmus Swanson, 2004. "Alternative Approximations of the Bias and MSE of the IV Estimator Under Weak Identification with an Application to Bias Correction," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm375, Yale School of Management.
  10. Panle Jia, 2008. "What Happens When Wal-Mart Comes to Town: An Empirical Analysis of the Discount Retailing Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1263-1316, November.
  11. Jerry Hausman & Ephraim Leibtag, 2009. "CPI Bias from Supercenters: Does the BLS Know that Wal-Mart Exists?," NBER Chapters, in: Price Index Concepts and Measurement, pages 203-231 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Thomas J. Holmes, 2008. "The Diffusion of Wal-Mart and Economies of Density," NBER Working Papers 13783, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. 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, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 31(3), pages 305-313, Winter.
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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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