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Wal-Mart's monopsony power in metro and non-metro labor markets

  • Bonanno, Alessandro
  • Lopez, Rigoberto A.

This paper measures the potential degree of monopsony power that Wal-Mart can exert over retail workers using a dominant-firm model and nationwide, county-level data, presenting for the first time a measure of the company's potential anti-competitive behavior and detailed spatial impacts on wages, particularly for metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties. Empirical results show that, at the national level, Wal-Mart's potential wage markdown below the competitive level amounts to less than 3% on average. However, the potential markdowns in non-metropolitan counties are three-fold those in metropolitan counties and are highest in non-metro areas of the south and central states but negligible in northeastern states.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016604621200018X
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 569-579

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Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:42:y:2012:i:4:p:569-579
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/regec

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  1. Emek Basker & Michael Noel, 2009. "The Evolving Food Chain: Competitive Effects of Wal-Mart's Entry into the Supermarket Industry," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 977-1009, December.
  2. Michael J Hicks, 2008. "Estimating Wal-Mart's Impacts in Maryland: A Test of Identification Strategies and Endogeneity Tests," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(1), pages 56-73, Winter.
  3. Daniel Aaronson & Eric French, 2003. "Product market evidence on the employment effects of the minimum wage," Working Paper Series WP-03-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. David Neumark & Junfu Zhang & Stephen Ciccarella, 2006. "The Effects of Wal-Mart on Local Labor Markets," Working Papers 060711, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  5. Emek Basker, 2007. "When Good Instruments Go Bad," Working Papers 0706, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  6. Michael J. Hicks, 2007. "Job Turnover and Wages in the Retail Sector: The Influence of Wal-Mart," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 22(Spring 20), pages 137-160.
  7. Daniel Aaronson & Eric French & James MacDonald, 2008. "The Minimum Wage, Restaurant Prices, and Labor Market Structure," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(3), pages 688-720.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Brown, Charles & Gilroy, Curtis & Kohen, Andrew, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 487-528, June.
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