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Mom-and-Pop Meet Big-Box: Complements or Substitutes?

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

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15348.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Publication status: published as 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:nbr:nberwo:15348
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