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Mom-and-Pop meet Big-Box: Complements or substitutes?


  • Haltiwanger, John
  • Jarmin, Ron
  • Krizan, C.J.


In part due to the popular perception that Big-Boxes displace smaller, often family owned (a.k.a. Mom-and-Pop) retail establishments, several empirical studies have examined the evidence on how Big-Boxes' impact local retail employment but no clear consensus has emerged. To help shed light on this debate, we exploit establishment-level data with detailed location information from a single metropolitan area to quantify the impact of Big-Box store entry and growth on nearby single unit and local chain stores. We incorporate a rich set of controls for local retail market conditions as well as whether or not the Big-Boxes are in the same sector as the smaller stores. We find a substantial negative impact of Big-Box entry and growth on the employment growth at both single unit and especially smaller chain stores - but only when the Big-Box activity is both in the immediate area and in the same detailed industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Haltiwanger, John & Jarmin, Ron & Krizan, C.J., 2010. "Mom-and-Pop meet Big-Box: Complements or substitutes?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 116-134, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:67:y:2010:i:1:p:116-134

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Big-Box stores Cities Small businesses;

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location


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