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WalMart and Local Economic Development

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  • Alessandro Bonanno
  • Stephan J. Goetz

Abstract

This article reviews the literature that evaluates WalMart’s impacts on local economies. The authors first describe the methods used to account for potential reverse causality of WalMart’s store location decisions, and then they discuss the literature assessing the company’s effect on three aspects of community life: (a) retail (and nonretail) businesses, across large- and small-sized stores and in different business environments; (b) retail workers, wages, and types of jobs; and (c) producer and consumer welfare through the company’s price-decreasing effect and other potential indirect effects. Last, articles focusing on a broad spectrum of local conditions that could be affected by the company, including poverty rates, social capital, food insecurity, policy effectiveness, and obesity are reviewed. For each dimension, evidence is found of both positive and negative effects, suggesting that we are still far from truly understanding the net effect of WalMart on local economies, let alone the overall consequences in the long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Bonanno & Stephan J. Goetz, 2012. "WalMart and Local Economic Development," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 26(4), pages 285-297, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ecdequ:v:26:y:2012:i:4:p:285-297
    DOI: 10.1177/0891242412456738
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Mark S Mygrant, 2020. "Keeping profits at home: A study of firm ownership and the geographical concentration of capital gains in the United States," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 35(5), pages 460-481, August.
    3. Metin Çakır & Xiangwen Kong & Clare Cho & Alexander Stevens, 2020. "Rural Food Retailing and Independent Grocery Retailer Exits," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 102(5), pages 1352-1367, October.

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