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Has Wal-Mart Buried Mom And Pop?: The Impact Of Wal-Mart On Self-Employment And Small Establishments In The United States

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  • RUSSELL S. SOBEL
  • ANDREA M DEAN

Abstract

"This paper explores the widely accepted view that Wal-Mart causes significant harm to the traditional, small "mom and pop" business sector of the U.S. economy. We present the first rigorous econometric investigation of this issue by examining the rate of self-employment and the number of small employer establishments using both time series and cross-sectional data. We also examine alternative measures and empirical techniques for robustness. Contrary to popular belief, our results suggest that the process of creative destruction unleashed by Wal-Mart has had no statistically significant long-run impact on the overall size and profitability of the small business sector in the United States. "("JEL "L81, D59, C21) Copyright (c) 2007 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Russell S. Sobel & Andrea M Dean, 2008. "Has Wal-Mart Buried Mom And Pop?: The Impact Of Wal-Mart On Self-Employment And Small Establishments In The United States," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(4), pages 676-695, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:46:y:2008:i:4:p:676-695
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Emek Basker, 2005. "Job Creation or Destruction? Labor Market Effects of Wal-Mart Expansion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 174-183, February.
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    8. Stone, Kenneth E., 1995. "Impact of Wal-Mart Stores and Other Mass Merchandisers in Iowa, 1983-1993," Staff General Research Papers Archive 5101, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fernando Borraz & Juan Dubra & Daniel Ferrés & Leandro Zipitría, 2014. "Supermarket Entry and the Survival of Small Stores," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 44(1), pages 73-93, February.
    2. Shrestha, Sundar S. & Goetz, Stephan J. & Rupasingha, Anil, 2007. "Proprietorship Formations and U.S. Job Growth," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 37(2), pages 146-168.
    3. Charles Courtemanche & Art Carden, 2014. "Competing with Costco and Sam's Club: Warehouse Club Entry and Grocery Prices," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 565-585, January.
    4. Kolko, Jed & Neumark, David, 2010. "Does local business ownership insulate cities from economic shocks?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 103-115, January.
    5. Cho, Janghee & Chun, Hyunbae & Lee, Yoonsoo, 2015. "How does the entry of large discount stores increase retail employment? Evidence from Korea," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 559-574.
    6. Michael Hicks, 2015. "Does Wal-Mart Cause an Increase in Anti-Poverty Expenditures?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1136-1152, December.
    7. Brooks, Lara & Whitacre, Brian E. & Muske, Glenn & Woods, Michael D., 2008. "Entrepreneurial Communities in Rural Oklahoma," 2008 Annual Meeting, February 2-6, 2008, Dallas, Texas 6829, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    8. Michael J. Hicks, 2006. "Transportation and infrastructure, retail clustering, and local public finance: evidence from Wal-Mart's expansion," Regional Economic Development, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Oct, pages 100-114.
    9. Fernando Borraz & Juan Dubra & Daniel Ferrés & Leandro Zipitría, 2013. "Supermarket Entry and The Survival of Small Stores," Documentos de Trabajo/Working Papers 1303, Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales y Economia. Universidad de Montevideo..
    10. Matthew Olczak, 2015. "Chain-Store Pricing and the Structure of Retail Markets," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 87-104, June.
    11. Stephan J. Goetz & Sundar S. Shrestha, 2009. "Explaining Self-Employment Success and Failure: Wal-Mart Versus Starbucks, or Schumpeter Versus Putnam," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 90(1), pages 22-38.
    12. James LeSage & Matthew Dominguez, 2012. "The importance of modeling spatial spillovers in public choice analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(3), pages 525-545, March.
    13. Pope, Devin G. & Pope, Jaren C., 2015. "When Walmart comes to town: Always low housing prices? Always?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 1-13.
    14. Courtemanche, Charles & Carden, Art, 2011. "Supersizing supercenters? The impact of Walmart Supercenters on body mass index and obesity," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 165-181, March.
    15. 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.
    16. Ting Zhu & Vishal Singh & Anthony Dukes, 2011. "Local competition, entry, and agglomeration," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 129-154, June.
    17. repec:spr:amsrev:v:6:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s13162-016-0086-z is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Art Carden & Charles Courtemanche, 2009. "Wal-Mart, Leisure, And Culture," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(4), pages 450-461, October.
    19. Srikanth Paruchuri & Joel A. C. Baum & David Potere, 2009. "The Wal-Mart Effect: Wave of Destruction or Creative Destruction?," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 85(2), pages 209-236, April.
    20. King, Roger & Peng, Winnie Qian, 2013. "The effect of industry characteristics on the control longevity of founding-family firms," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 281-295.
    21. Donald Vandegrift & John Loyer, 2015. "The Effect Of Walmart And Target On The Tax Base: Evidence From New Jersey," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 159-187, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • D59 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Other
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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