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Revisiting WalMart’s Impact on Iowa Small-Town Retail

Listed author(s):
  • Georgeanne M. Artz

    (Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA)

  • Kenneth E. Stone

    (Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA)

Ken Stone conducted the first study of WalMart stores’ economic impact in Iowa in 1988. Since then, research on WalMart’s impacts has exploded. Recent studies employ sophisticated statistical techniques to more accurately measure the size and direction of effects. Many reach conclusions similar to Stone’s original work. This article updates the original Stone study with additional years of data. It draws on recent methodological advances to help account for the effects of WalMart’s strategic location decisions on estimated retail sales in Iowa. As is consistent with previous studies, we find that WalMart’s entry into smaller trade centers in Iowa had a big initial impact on host-town retail sales, with some categories experiencing significant increases while others saw declines in sales per capita. WalMart’s presence helped stabilize or even expand the local retail sector of most rural Iowa host communities. To conclude, we discuss policy implications for local economic development officials.

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Article provided by in its journal Economic Development Quarterly.

Volume (Year): 26 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 298-310

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Handle: RePEc:sae:ecdequ:v:26:y:2012:i:4:p:298-310
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