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Revisiting Wal-Mart’s Impact on Iowa Small Town Retail: Twenty-Five Years Later

  • Stone, Kenneth E.
  • Artz, Georgeanne M.

Stone conducted the first study of Wal-Mart stores economic impact in Iowa in 1988.� Since then, research on Wal-Mart’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 paper updates the original Stone study with additional years of data. �It draws on recent methodological advances to help account for Wal-Mart’s strategic location decisions on estimated retail sales impacts in Iowa.� Consistent with previous studies, we find that Wal-Mart’s entry into smaller trade centers in Iowa had a big initial impact on host town retail sales, with some categories experiencing large significant increases while others saw declines in sales per capita.� Wal-Mart’s presence helped to stabilize or even expand the local retail sector of most rural Iowa host communities.� To conclude, policy implications for local economic development officials are discussed.

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File URL: http://www.econ.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/papers/p15202-2012-05-31.pdf
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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 35202.

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Date of creation: 31 May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:35202
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 2003. "Does Matching Overcome Lalonde's Critique of Nonexperimental Estimators?," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20035, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  2. Dube, Arindrajit & Lester, T. William & Eidlin, Barry, 2007. "Firm Entry and Wages: Impact of Wal-Mart Growth on Earnings Throughout the Retail Sector," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt22s5k4pv, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  3. Stone, Kenneth E., 1995. "Competing With the Retail Giants," Staff General Research Papers 5307, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Emek Basker, 2007. "The Causes and Consequences of Wal-Mart's Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 177-198, Summer.
  5. Emek Basker, 2003. "Job Creation or Destruction? Labor-Market Effects of Wal-Mart Expansion," Labor and Demography 0303002, EconWPA, revised 11 Mar 2005.
  6. Ozment, John & Martin, Greg, 1990. "Changes in the competitive environments of rural trade areas : Effects of discount retail chains," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 277-287, November.
  7. Panle Jia, 2008. "What Happens When Wal-Mart Comes to Town: An Empirical Analysis of the Discount Retailing Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1263-1316, November.
  8. Stone, Kenneth E., 1991. "Competing with the Mass Merchandisers," Staff General Research Papers 11230, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  9. Deller, Steven C. & McConnon, James Jr. C. & Stone, Kenneth E., 1991. "The Measurement of a Communityï¾’S Retail Market," Staff General Research Papers 11229, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  10. Georgeanne M. Artz & Kenneth E. Stone, 2006. "Analyzing the Impact of Wal-Mart Supercenters on Local Food Store Sales," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1296-1303.
  11. Irwin, Elena G. & Clark, Jill, 2006. "Wall Street vs. Main Street: What are the Benefits and Costs of Wal-Mart to Local Communities?," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 21(2).
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